“For greater recourse to immigration in the face of labor shortages”

Tribune. While the very strong economic recovery suggests a historic possibility of resuming growth and full employment in our country, the labor shortage threatens to stifle this momentum. Indeed, 50% of French companies complain of not being able to recruit, and many of them end up giving up creating additional activity for lack of finding the employees they need.

With more than a hundred trades classified as “under stress”, many sectors are affected and all levels of qualification are concerned. Thus, among the ten most sought-after trades (excluding seasonal) we find, jumbled together, maintenance workers, nursing aides, home helpers, catering and self-service employees, non-professional workers. skilled handlers, security and surveillance officers, but also nurses, engineers, executives and IT managers.

Structural problem

Much more worrying than the tensions on the markets for raw materials, energy or semi-finished products, which should subside fairly quickly, this problem is structural. Indeed, many companies could not find employees either before the Covid-19 crisis. The reform of unemployment insurance, by reducing indemnities linked to fixed-term work, should put employees back on the job market in a sustainable manner. But given the extent of the shortage, this will be far from sufficient, especially since some unemployed have no qualifications and are difficult to employ.

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Faced with such difficulties, the solution used by the largest companies, when their production process allows them, is to relocate part of their activity abroad, where the workforce they need. is abundant. This solution is obviously less beneficial to the French economy than creating economic activity on the national territory.

Another solution is then to call on foreign labor. This is what other European countries such as Switzerland, Luxembourg, the United Kingdom, or even Germany traditionally do, all of which have, in proportion to their population, higher immigration than that of France, in flux. as in stock.

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In fact, our country is today very uncompetitive on this subject. It suffers from a lack of attractiveness among candidates for labor immigration as illustrated by the low intra-European immigration. Among the flow of immigrants arriving each year in France (around 270,000 people), European Union (EU) nationals constitute only a third; 4.6% of the total population come from third countries and only 2.4% from the EU. This ranks France behind Luxembourg, Austria, Belgium, Ireland, Germany, Spain, UK (pre-Brexit), Denmark, Sweden, Italy, Low, and even Cyprus and Malta.

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“For greater recourse to immigration in the face of labor shortages”