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New Aquitaine, the paradoxes of the job market

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New Aquitaine, the paradoxes of the job market

Growing for a few years now, the volume of job offers has increased sharply in 2019: 13% more than in 2018 in the second quarter, 19% in the third, 34% for the last quarter. In France, according to Pôle Emploi, 1 in 4 establishments plans to recruit (1). Proportions that are also found in Nouvelle-Aquitaine since 27.4% of organizations announce at least 1 recruitment project. These figures represent an increase of 1.3 points in 2019, below the 3.1 points of 2018, but still positive. (2) At the same time, the evolution of hiring intentions for the region climbed to 257,721 projects in 2019. That’s 32,790 more than in 2018.

However, if the employment figures are encouraging, it is clear that supply does not always meet demand and that the dichotomy between jobs offered and jobs sought has not finished increasing. Moreover, the Covid-19 crisis has come to put a lead in helping these prospects. The number of jobseekers thus increased by 9.5% in July 2020 compared to the same period the previous year.

Growth in the number of job openings

In terms of job offers, according to the 2019 RegionsJob / ParisJob barometer (3), the Île de France, the PACA region and Occitanie share the podium with respectively an increase in the volume of offers of 34%, 30% and 22%. New Aquitaine came in 6th place with 15% growth.

However, with 372,929 offers (4), the region rises to 3rd place in the ranking and still represents one of the regions where the demand for new recruits is the highest (3).

There is still a strong disparity from one department to another, the economic landscape being very diverse in the largest region of France. Thus, while Lot-et-Garonne benefited from growth of 37%, followed closely by the Landes and Dordogne, it is the Gironde and its 14% growth that accounts for 28% of the region’s job openings.

The Jobi Joba barometer lists the cities in Nouvelle-Aquitaine that offer the most jobs. Bordeaux comes out on top with 37,989 offers, followed by Mérignac and its 9,554 offers, Poitiers (8,036 offers), La Rochelle (8,016 offers), Pau (7,492 offers), Limoges (7,374 offers), Niort (6,978 offers), Angoulême (4,991 offers), Pessac (4,638 offers) and Bayonne (3,956 offers).

In March 2020, however, the number of job vacancies fell by almost 30% before rising to a level close to the pre-crisis level in June (4). The second lockdown once again sounds like a sharp drop in recruitment. It is still too early to know its long-term impact.

candidates job market recruitment nouvelle-aquitaine bordeaux
The growth of the labour market is being undermined by the crisis and will have to be studied in the long term to know the repercussions.

Employment, supply and demand mismatch

If the supply is abundant (excluding crisis), all sectors and all trades are not concerned. Thus, unanimously, the various players in employment and recruitment reveal that recruitment is dominated by sectors such as Industrial Engineering, Production and Maintenance, and Commercial. There is also the construction and health sector.

In these sectors, the most sought-after profiles are maintenance technicians, electricians, nurses, field sales representatives and web developers (Jobi Joba). Uncommon skills that do not facilitate recruitment.

In 2019, more than half of recruitment projects are considered “difficult”. Either because of a lack of qualified candidates (skills gap) or a lack of applications (lack of attractiveness). This figure rises to 72.9% for the construction sector. (1) (2)

At the same time, the types of contracts offered do not appear to be very successful. Thus, almost 75% of the offers are CDIs, an increase of 20% compared to 2018. However, where the Holy Grail was to obtain a CDI, this is no longer what seems to appeal to the new generations, especially the Millennials.

This generation, which by 2025 will account for three quarters of the workforce, aspires to more freedom and autonomy (7). In addition to the desire to undertake, it is above all the dynamics of change that is a concern in the context of long-term recruitment. According to CornerJob, who are less attracted to salary than personal development, 47% of them have changed businesses after 3 to 5 years and almost a quarter do not see themselves keeping their job for more than 1 to 2 years. A fundamental trend that does not facilitate sustainable employment.

In this context, the question of the employer brand, the values of the companies; and a change in HR approach, in particular to the benefit of boomerang recruitment.

Training, between dislove and initiatives

In addition to these societal changes, there is also a more surprising novelty in 2020. Indeed, job seekers are reported to be less and less educated. According to Qapa (7), non-graduate candidates represent 21% of job seekers in 2020 (compared to 15% a year earlier). The barometer paints the same picture for other levels of education. CAP, BEP or equivalent fall from 29% to 27%; holders of the Baccalaureate increase from 21% to 17%; Bac+2 drops from 23% to 14%. Only graduates with longer studies (Bac 3 to Bac 5) are slightly more numerous.

At a time when companies are looking for qualified profiles in a tight job market, such an observation is disruptive. At the same time, national initiatives are pushing young people to train and the workforce not to be overtaken. This is for example the case of the Group “My Advice in Professional Evolution” (7) which seeks to support workers (in particular) in the definition of their career plan and its implementation. Present in New Aquitaine, the group concentrates some 45 main sites, 19 secondary sites and 49 relay sites to be as close as possible to its 3 million target workers and the local world of work.

Covid-19, a lasting impact on the job market in Nouvelle-Aquitaine?

In Nouvelle-Aquitaine, the number of jobseekers fell slightly in the third quarter (-1.1%). However, over the year, the increase in the number of jobseekers amounted to 4.4%. This is slightly below the national figures (+4.7%). The trend is very similar in Gironde. Thus, there are +4.7% of job seekers compared to last year.

Map France distribution of staff in partial activity in June 2020
Distribution of part-time workers in June 2020, Ministry of Labour (11)

These figures are to be taken with hindsight because they do not reflect the reality of the labour market at present. And for good reason, many redundancies and closures of companies have been prevented (or postponed) by state aid. Thus, it is possible that we will see a rebalancing in the coming months. Currently, partial activity schemes have made it possible to cushion the shock of the Covid-19 crisis. Île-de-France and Auvergne-Rhône-Alpes have the most employees compensated in partial activity. 31% in IDF and 11.6% in Auvergne-Rhône-Alpes. For comparison, they are only 6.6% in Nouvelle-Aquitaine. In total, nearly 4,500,000 employees would have been in partial activity in June. This represents about private sector employees.


  1. Pôle Emploi, BMO (Labour Needs) 2019
  2. Pôle Emploi, BMO Nouvelle Aquitaine 2019
  3. Hello Work, RegionsJob/ParisJob Job Barometer, Bordeaux, January 24, 2020
  4. Labour market barometer: the recovery is confirmed,RegionsJoB, study published on 26 June 2020
  5. Press release “Jobijoba presents the “2019 Employment Barometer in the Nouvelle-Aquitaine region”, 4 February 2020
  6. Apec, “Millennials, portrait of a generation”, 25 October 2019
  7. Qapa, Press release – Employment barometer in Nouvelle-Aquitaine “Fewer and fewer job seekers graduate in 2020”
  8. My Advice in Professional Evolution, Press Kit 2020
  9. “Jobseekers registered at Pôle Emploi in Nouvelle-Aquitaine in the third quarter of 2020”, DIRRECTE
  10. “Jobseekers registered at Pôle Emploi in Gironde in the third quarter of 2020”, DIRRECTE
  11. Labour market situation as at 20 August 2020, Ministry of Labour
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