The regions and towns in France that are creating the most jobs

Not since the financial crisis of 2008 have so many jobs been created in France. A new survey has revealed the regions and the towns where jobseekers have the most hope of finding work.

The regions and towns in France that are creating the most jobs
A map of France, showing the old regional divisions. Photo: AFP

A new study has revealed that the number of job offers in France has jumped by 42 percent compared to last year.

The study by RegionsJob, that was published in Le Parisien newspaper, revealed that 200,000 job offers were created in the third quarter of 2017, compared to 140,000 in the same period last year.

That means that not since the financial crisis of 2008 has France created so many vacancies.

“Since the end of 2015 there has been a real recovery of the labour market,” David Beaurepaire from RegionsJob told Le Parisien. “The trend was confirmed in 2016 and has accelerated in 2017.”

He said the upswing can be explained by “business owners gaining back confidence” as well as certain tax reforms that have “facilitated investment”.

But certain regions and towns appear to be more dynamic than others.

The region which tops the table for the most dynamic region is, unsurprisingly the greater Paris region of Île-de-France, where job offers have increased by 75 percent.

Île de France is followed by Normandy, which has seen a 59 percent increase, Brittany (57 percent), Occitanie in the south west (50 percent) and Pays de la Loire in the west (45 percent).

In terms of French cities on the move then Paris comes top with a 75 percent increase in job offers, followed by Rennes (53 percent), Strasbourg (47 percent), Bordeaux ( 46 percent), Toulouse (44 percent) and Lyon (39 percent). Lille, Marseille and Nice have also seen the number of job offers created rise, but to a lesser extent.

At the other end of the scale though is the northern region of Hauts de France and the eastern region of Grand Est, where the recovery of the labour market has been much slower.

And while France's big cities are proving dynamic enough, it is the medium sized urban areas that are struggling to create jobs.

“This shows that France is indeed running at two speeds,” said Beaurepaire.

In terms of the sectors that are recruiting the most Transport and logistics tops the table, followed by energy and environment and services to businesses.




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How to get a summer job in France

As the summer holidays approach in France, many employers are looking for seasonal workers - so if you're looking for a summer job, here's how to go about it.

How to get a summer job in France

There are thousands of employment offers in France – a simple internet search for jobs d’été came up with numerous jobs boards offering work in France, while the government-backed Centre d’Information et de Documentation pour la Jeunesse (CIDJ) offers advice and information on all aspects of life for young people in France, including finding seasonal work and summer placements.

Sectors including agriculture, hospitality and tourism are always recruiting in the summer, seeking fruit-pickers, holiday camp workers and serving/hotel staff.

But what are the rules for people seeking summer jobs?

READ ALSO Vendange: What you really sign up for when you agree to help with the French wine harvest


Children from the age of 16 (under certain circumstances, the age limit drops to 14) who are legally resident in France can work as long as they have written authorisation from their parents or legal guardians. A model authorisation letter is available here

Those under the age of 18 cannot undertake certain jobs for health and safety reasons.

In the following circumstances, children as young as 14 or 15 can work during school holidays.

  • The holidays must last at least 14 days;
  • The child must work no more than half the days of the holiday – so, if a vacation period is two weeks, they can work for no more than one of those weeks;
  • The child is given ‘light duties’ that offer no risk to their safety, health, or development;
  • From the age of 15 and if the child has completed their troisieme education, a minor can register for an apprenticeship. 


Salary is usually paid monthly and will have a payslip. For those aged 18 and over, pay will be at least equal to the minimum wage.

 For those aged 14 to 17, who have less than six months’ professional experience, the minimum allowed rate is 80 percent of the minimum wage. For those aged 17 to 18, the rate rises to a minimum of 90 percent of France’s minimum wage.

  • The minimum wage in France is currently €10.85 gross per hour (€1,645.58 gross per month based on a 35-hour week);
  • the employment contract is fixed-term and can take different forms (fixed-term contract, seasonal employment contract, temporary employment contract, etc);
  • Seasonal employees are subject to the same obligations as the other employees of the company and have access to the same benefits (canteens, breaks, etc.).

Under 18s have certain additional protections:

  • between the ages of 14 and 16, during school holidays, employees on any contract cannot work more than 35 hours per week nor more than 7 hours per day;
  • They cannot work at night;
  • Those aged 14 to under 16 working during their school holidays can only be assigned to work which is not likely to harm their safety, their health or development.

Right to work in France

If you’re a French citizen or hold permanent residency in France then you have the right to work, but for foreigners there are extra restrictions.

Anyone who holds the passport of a EU/EEA country or Switzerland, is free to work in France or to travel to France seeking work without needing a visa or work permit.

Most other people will need permission to work in France – even if it’s only for a short period or for casual work such as grape-picking. Depending on your country of origin you may need a visa – everything you need to know about that is here.

In addition to the visa, you may also need a work permit, which is the responsibility of the employer.  To employ anyone in France for less than 90 days, an employer must get a temporary work permit – before the prospective employee applies for a short stay visa. This permit is then sent to the embassy at which the employee is applying for a visa.

If you come from countries including the UK, USA and Canada you can spend up to 90 days in France without a visa – but you may still need a work (convention d’accueil) if you want to work while you are here.

READ ALSO Six official websites to know if you’re planning to work in France

Certain countries have specific ‘seasonal worker’ visas on offer, for certain sectors which allows – for example – Canadians to come to France and work the ski season. 

Cash-in-hand jobs

Certain sectors which have a lot of casual workers – for example seasonal fruit-picking – do have cash-in-hand jobs, known in France as marché noir (black market) or simply travail au black (working on the black, or working illegally). 

This is of course illegal and working this way carries risks – as well as the possibility of losing your job if labour inspectors turn up you are also in a vulnerable position. If your employer suddenly decides not to pay you, or make unexpected deductions from your wages, there is very little you can do about it since you won’t have any kind of work contract.