Good news! Since 2017, the French manufacturing industry has been creating jobs again, after over two decades of decline. This positive trend has been confirmed in 2018. 18,800 jobs had already been created in manufacturing during the first two quarters of 2019. At the same time, the country recorded more openings than closures of industrial units in the country in 2017 and 2018. On top of that, France is the number one destination in Europe for foreign investments in industry and continues to widen the gap with the United Kingdom and Germany. In 2018, it hosted 323 foreign industrial projects, against respectively 216 and 163 for its two neighbours.
According to French Secretary of State for Economy and Finance, Agnès Pannier Runacher, a potential of at least 50,000 industrial jobs could be unlocked with a better coordination between recruiter needs – especially SMEs – and the training system. The focus today is on apprenticeship with the “French Tour of Solutions” promoting local projects with tangible achievements, notably in terms of employment.
New jobs creation in industry goes hand in hand with the revitalization of French territories. “Today, 70% of industrial jobs and 70% of foreign direct investments in industry are outside big urban areas” Agnès Pannier Runacher notes. The revival of the French industry could thus help balancing employment between French regions. In 2018, for instance, the manufacturing workforce has globally increased in Pays-de-la-Loire, Occitanie and Nouvelle-Aquitaine (regions in the West and South of France). The governmental initiative “Industry territory”, launched at the end of 2018, aims at supporting the revival of industry and boosting local employment in 144 identified territories, channeling over €1.3bn. In terms of job creation, La France Fab is right on track.