Kevin Eagan - May 20, 2013
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The French government employment agency, POLE EMPLOI published results from its annual employment needs survey. The survey report, Besoin de Main d’Oeuvre, or BMO, surveyed employer hiring plans for 2013. The BMO showed a need for more staff in the hospitality and hotel industry.

According to the report, French employers plan to increase hiring by 0.3% in 2013 compared to 2012 employment totals. This will create 4400 new jobs, bringing the total nationwide to 1,610,000.  Approximately half of these jobs are contract positions.

The hospitality industry accounts for 14% of this planned increase in hiring. Tourism in the country is the main industry, especially in the largest cities. Business services and health services each total 12% of the total hiring plans.

Often the newly created positions require minimal skills and qualifications. They include cooks, servers, home-care providers and nursing aides. Professionals who specialize in applying socio-cultural concepts to business are also in high demand.

Many of these jobs have low pay or difficult working conditions, making them less attractive to potential workers. Engineering and IT professionals are among the ten most sought-after employees, and certainly garner higher wages and benefits.

Many of the unfilled hospitality and service industry positions are seasonal. For instance, the French hotel industry enjoyed better performance in February 2013 compared to January 2013 simply because occupancy rates increased.

Analysis of the hotel markets by the BMO and other industry-specific reports reinforces the existence of geographical and regional differences in job creation and recruiting needs. Employers report difficulty recruiting and retaining qualified and appropriate candidates for these positions. 40.4% of companies reported difficulties recruiting in spite of a rising unemployment rate that is currently over 10%.

More than 20,000 people have been hired in the hospitality industry every year for the past three years, making this employment the main growth sector in the French economy. Hospitality employs over 4 million people, the fourth largest industry employer in the country. Kitchen help and specialized chefs in 5-star restaurants are in demand as much as cooks and servers in cafeterias. Restaurant and hotel directors are also in demand, along with yield managers to maximize hotel bookings and occupancy rates.

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