The feeling of “relegation” in rural areas is also linked to the quality of the labor market

The feeling of “relegation” of the inhabitants of rural regions, often evoked during crises of the “yellow vests” type, is not only fueled by the distance from administrative centers, higher education establishments or the scarcity of public transport . The quality of the jobs available around one’s home contributes just as much to this feeling, indicates a study by the Research Center for the Study and Observation of Living Conditions (Crédoc) carried out on behalf of the National Agency for the Cohesion of territories and published on Thursday 25 May.

Moreover, “more than the professional and personal situation of the inhabitants of rural areas, it is the characteristics of the local labor market that shape their perceptions”explain the authors of the note, Eliot Forcadell, Sandra Hoibian and Lucie Brice-Mansencal.

Although rural areas are not particularly affected by unemployment or poverty, jobs in these areas are on average less qualified than elsewhere − comprising fewer managerial positions and more worker positions − less secure, with less of CDI, more statuses of self-employed or farmers. And the associated salaries are, on average, lower in these types of jobs.

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The Crédoc cites a few figures: in large urban centers, 77% of jobs are open-ended (CDI or public service holders) and only 6% are independent jobs. In rural areas “dispersed housing”, these figures are respectively 53% and 23%. If we go even further into the countryside, into the rural areas “widely dispersed habitat”the two types of jobs are represented equally: 38% permanent jobs, 37% self-employed.

Valuation lever

“Workers in rural areas are less likely to hold jobs that offer some form of security for the future”, underlines the Crédoc. Local companies are also smaller, offering fewer opportunities for development and probably fewer additional remuneration instruments than larger ones (works councils, profit-sharing, mutual insurance, benefits in kind, etc.). Indeed, establishments with more than 10 employees are absent in dispersed rural areas, whereas they represent 20% of establishments in large urban centres.

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This note, if it is not its primary objective, constitutes in any case a powerful argument in favor of the reindustrialization of the territories. The arrival of large companies creates jobs, often more qualified than those in logistics, for example, and better paid. They also bring with them a population of executives who can contribute to improving the perception that the inhabitants have of the quality of the labor market that surrounds them.

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