Payroll employment stopped slightly in the first quarter

66,100 net creations were recorded during the first three years of the year, according to INSEE. A figure that increases by 0.3%, compared to 0.6% in the last quarter of 2021.

Despite a marked slowdown in growth during the first three months of the year, private wage employment remained. The year 2022 began with a 0.3% increase in the first quarter, a slower pace than in recent months, more attributable to the aftermath of the Covid-19 health crisis than to the Ukraine crisis.

According to the INSEE provisional estimate released on Friday, the private sector recorded 66,100 net job creations between the end of December 2021 and the end of March 2022. By way of comparison, in the fourth quarter of 2021, the private employment had risen by 0.6% (+117,900), closing a positive year (+ 3.5% over the whole of 2021, ie +677,700 jobs) which had more than erased the fall in employment. 2020 following the pandemic.

In the first quarter,the growth of wage employment slows down a bit“, Observes Sylvain Larrieu, head of the division of Synthesis and conjunctures of the labor market of the INSEE. But he told AFPthe slowdown is finally not so strong. When we take non-temporary employment, it is more in line with previous quarters“.

In fact, after seven consecutive quarters of growth, temporary employment fell by 1.4%, or -11,500 jobs, which “contributes to this general slowdown“, according to the INSEE economist. But temporary employment remains above its pre-crisis level in the first quarter of 2022: + 4.8% (ie +37,500 jobs ) with respect to the end of 2019.

Growth in private wage employment in the previous quarter was partly driven by the sharp rise in temporary employment, a volatile and precarious form of employment, which declined earlier this year.Anne Eydoux, a member of the Economists, also notes with dismay.The interminable descent is difficult to interpret. Does it reflect an increase in business uncertainty? This can be a sign of the fragility of recovery“, add. “That said, non-temporary wage employment, however, continued to rise in all sectors“The economist continues.”Overall, employment exceeds its pre-crisis level, but has not picked up on the upward trend observed during the period 2015-2019.“, points out.

Omicron effects

In total, at the end of March 2022, private salaried employment exceeded its pre-crisis level, at the end of 2019, by 2%, ie +389,700 jobs, according to the National Institute of Statistics and Economic Studies. Only the industry remains below its pre-crisis level. This sector continuesclimb slowlyfor the fifth consecutive quarter (0.1%, or +3,100 jobs), says Sylvain Larrieu. But these increases do not offset the losses of 2020 (-56,200 jobs) and industrial employment remains below its pre-crisis level (-1.1%, or -32,900 jobs).

In the commercial tertiary sector, wage employment rose by 0.3% (+38,900) and far exceeded its pre-crisis level: + 1.9%, or +218,300 jobs. In construction, salaried private employment rose again by 0.4% (+6,000 jobs). It also exceeds its 2019 end level by 5.1% (+73,600 jobs). Finally, the non-market tertiary sector is “very dynamic»In particular through activities in the sectors of education and training or social action (personal assistance, nursing homes, etc.), underlines Sylvain Larrieu. It increased significantly by 1.2% (ie +29,700) and far exceeded its level at the end of 2019: + 3.4%, ie + 844,600 jobs.

In short, according to Sylvain Larrieu, the slowdown is “not necessarilyan effect of the Ukrainian crisis. At the moment, the fluctuations are more related to the health crisis. “There was an effect that we had anticipated: in the midst of the crisis linked to the Omicron variant -December-January-February- there were many absences that had to be replaced, which was likely to attract action to the ‘rise.“, explain. “We thought it was partly temporary and it would settle down and that’s what we observe“As for the possible impact of the Ukrainian crisis.”it’s hard to say“i”probably a little earlyto see, he said.

There is a slowdown in activity“but the opinion of the business leaders questioned about hiring was at a level”quite sustained“in March and April, then”we saw no immediate effect of this crisis“He explains. But Sylvain Larrieu warns,”if the slowdown in activity were confirmed, there would certainly be an effecton employment.


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