French enterprise groups abroad: 4.7 million employees in 2010, including nearly 2 million in industrial jobs
In 2010, nearly 2,500 French non-banking enterprise groups controlled 31,000 international affiliates employing 4.7 million people abroad versus 4.2 million in France. This global outreach concerns nearly all large groups, about one-third of intermediate-sized groups, and 4% of small groups. Large groups generate less than one-half of their sales and employ less than one-half of their workforce in France. The leading location is the European Union, with 43% of the international workforce, ahead of the United States (11%) and China (9%). French groups control more industrial or commercial affiliates abroad than in France itself. These foreign affiliates employ 41% of their workforce in industrial operations (manufacturing) and 22% in commercial activities, compared with 27% and nearly 15% respectively in the domestic affiliates. Depending on the country, local operations reflect a very wide variety of business development and attractiveness criteria. In the United States, for example, French groups are expanding chiefly in the service sector. By contrast, they employ the largest share of their workforce in industrial operations in Japan (53%), Africa (51%), and central/eastern Europe (47%). In China, jobs are concentrated in manufacturing but also in mass merchandising.