In sixty years the French economy has undergone far-reaching structural changes
In the thirty years after the Second World War, economic growth was well balanced between the value-added from industry and construction on the one hand, and services on the other. Since then services have taken the lead. In fact, in the last sixty years, employment has become tertiary and salaried in the great majority of cases. The first oil crisis marked a turning point: growth was stronger before 1974 and based on much more sustained productivity gains. Afterwards, the slowdown in productivity was passed on to wage earnings. Companies’ profit margins dropped back under the influence of the two oil crises in 1974 and 1979, and did so more quickly in industry than in services. Profit margins then recovered in the 1980s.