Geographic distribution of jobs: intellectual, managerial, and decision-making functions concentrated in large cities

Cyrille Van Puymbroeck, pôle Synthèses locales et Robert Reynard, direction régionale de Rhône-Alpes, Insee

The functions performed in Paris, regional capitals, small towns, and rural areas are not identical. In 2006, functions tied to intellectual services, design/research, business-to-business trade, management, culture, and leisure accounted for one-quarter of national employment, up from one-fifth in 1982. They remain highly concentrated in the capital, but are growing in regional metropolises. Most of the management-level workers performing these “metropolitan” functions work in Paris, despite a recent shift toward large provincial cities. The presence of “metropolitan function” white-collar workers is an indicator of the influence of large cities. Paris (with 18% of jobs in this category in 2006), Grenoble, and Toulouse (14%) are at the top of this ranking. Functions designed to provide services to the population (health/welfare, education/training, public administration, distribution, neighbourhood services) account for 42% of national employment, versus 31% in 1982. They are expanding in a uniform manner across France, consistently with the distribution of the population. In the category of physical-production functions, agricultural jobs are not the only ones to be located away from towns and cities. Besides manufacturing, the pattern also applies to construction and public works. The number of jobs in these functions is falling sharply.

Insee Première
No 1278
Paru le : 03/02/2010