Employment and wages2013 Edition
Since mid-2011, a new deterioration in the job market, less marked that that of 2008-2009
With the economic downturn associated with the worsening of the sovereign debt crisis during the summer of 2011, the modest creation of non-farm salaried market sector employment observed between 2010 and the start of 2011 gave way to new job losses, especially in temporary work. In a context of stagnant economic activity, apparent labour productivity slowed, without however going backwards. Since mid-2011, the fall in temporary work increased, industry and construction saw job losses on a regular basis, job creation in market sector services excluding temporary work ran out of steam; in addition, non-market sector employment retreated after moving forwards in 2008 and 2009 during the previous phase of a fall in market sector employment. This new deterioration in employment came at a time when the labour force, notably older workers, enjoyed sustained growth, in particular under the effect of pension reforms. The labour force participation and employment rates among older workers rose on a regular and hitherto unheard-of manner, at the very time when those for younger people fell. As a consequence, the unemployment rate rose markedly since the second quarter of 2011. As in the past, the risk of unemployment concerned mostly temporary workers, those in fixed-term contracts and the least qualified social-professional categories. Increasing inflation over 2010 and 2011 induced a stronger revaluation of the guaranteed minimum wage and, more generally, a slight acceleration in current euros of the average wage per capita, despite a worsening in employment. However, in real terms, the average wage slowed for the second consecutive year in 2011 in the market sector. It increased again very slightly in industry (+0.2%), but stagnated in the service industry and construction. In general government, the average wage per capita fell in constant euros, notably under the effect of the freezing of the index point.