Économie et Statistique n° 371 - 2004 How Manual Employee Families Handle their Children's Futures - Trade Unions in Companies: How are Male and Female Wages Affected? - Income by Social Background - The Productive Fabric: Renewal at the Bottom and Stability at the Top
The productive fabric: renewal at the bottom and stability at the top
The Productive Fabric: Renewal at the Bottom and Stability at the Top The renewal of the productive fabric is central to the debate on the capacity of France and continental Europe to meet the challenge of innovation. Simultaneous observation of the group aspect and company aspect from 1985 to 2000 qualifies the usual observation of highly active renewal of the productive fabric in small enterprises in contrast with a relatively closed club of large groups. The rise in wage employment is the result of two successive and complementary movements: strong buoyancy among very small enterprises through to 1993, followed by large groups taking up the trend and substantially increasing their workforces by the late 1990s. Groups took over the most buoyant companies whose growth was stimulated by their joining the group. This was particularly true of SMEs, especially when taken over by large groups. The growth of large groups was due to two contrasting movements: strong «external growth» generated by recent acquisitions (other groups, independent firms and firms sold by other groups) partially offset by «internal job cuts». These cuts were especially substantial since they concerned larger long-standing businesses. Job cuts were posted in manufacturing and construction, whereas large service and especially trade groups created jobs. European groups rely much more on restructuring than new members for their reorganisation. This lack of openness in Europe contrasts with the USA.