Employment in France
France is the second largest economy in Europe, after Germany. Important industrial sectors in France are telecommunications, pharmaceuticals, shipbuilding and vehicle production. Historically, France has been a promoter of nuclear energy, some 56 reactors produce almost seventy percent of its total electricity generation (2023). The Energy sector accounts for numerous jobs.
Some 65 million people live in the France Republic. 2.7 million of these people live in French overseas territories (2022), for example French Guiana. As with many Western European countries, France experienced a ‘baby boom’, right after the Second World War.
In the years after WWII there was tremendous economic growth, this led to an increased demand for workers to fill the numerous job openings. Employers quickly found new employees in former French colonies, mainly in Algeria, Tunisia and Morocco. To date, this accounts for a migration figure of 1.6 million persons from North African countries. Immigration accounts for one quarter of the population growth.
A standard working week for regular jobs in France is 35 hours. The idea behind the short working week is that it would lead to more people getting hired. So far statistics do not prove this theory, this is mainly blamed on the fact that it is difficult for employers to lay off people when faced with an economic downturn. As with many Western countries, since many years there has been a shortage of highly skilled professionals.