7 May 2020
N° 2020-118

In Q1 2020, private payroll employment dropped by 2.3% (flash estimate)Flash estimate of payroll employment - first quarter 2020

At the end of the first quarter of 2020, private sector wage employment dropped by 2.3%, or 453,800 net job losses in one quarter. Compared to the end of the first quarter 2019, employment is down 1.4%, that is -274,900 jobs. It returned to its lowest level since the third quarter of 2017.

Informations rapides
No 118
Paru le : Paru le 07/05/2020
Prochaine parution le : 07/08/2020 at 08:45 - second quarter 2020
Informations rapides  No 118 - May 2020
Warning

In this publication, the concept of employment refers to the international critera of the International labour organization (ILO). Employment includes both persons who have worked at least one paid hour during a given period, but also persons who have not worked for a certain reasons (paid leave, sick leave, short-time working, etc. - in some cases subject to conditions of duration). In this period of health crisis, an unprecedented number of employees are finding themselves in a situation of partial unemployment or sick leave (including for childcare). According to the first analyses of the nominative social declarations (DSN) made by companies for March 2020, 3.6 million employees were in a situation of partial unemployment at the end of March (this estimate is likely to be revised with corrective declarations from companies), and 1.3 million were on sick leave (including childcare): these people are considered to be in employment. For non-temporary private employment, this first "flash" estimate was made by using early data from the March 2020 DSN, in addition to the business surveys usually used. For temporary employment, the DSN was used according to the usual methodology. The estimate of private paid employment will be revised on the occasion of the detailed publication of paid employment (public and private) for the first quarter of 2020, scheduled for Thursday 11 June. In view of the magnitude of the observed changes, revisions are likely to be larger than usual between the first two estimates for the quarter.

Private payroll employment dropped as a result of the health crisis: -2.3% at the end of the first quarter of 2020

At the end of the first quarter of 2020, private sector wage employment dropped by 2.3%, or 453,800 net job losses in one quarter. Compared to the end of the first quarter 2019, employment is down 1.4%, that is -274,900 jobs. It returned to its lowest level since the third quarter of 2017.

In the so-called "non-agricultural market" field (industry, construction and market services), payroll employment has been measured in quarterly time series since the end of 1970. In the first quarter of 2020, it fell by 2.6% in this field (-442,200 jobs): this is the largest drop recorded in the series. In particular, it is significantly sharper than the troughs observed in the fourth quarter of 2008 (-0.8%) and the first quarter of 2009 (-0.9%).

The number of temporary workers fell by an unprecedented 37.0% in the quarter, that is -291,800 jobs. Excluding temporary workers, payroll employment fell by 0.9% (-162,000 jobs).

Excluding temporary work, employment fell sharply in market services

Private payroll employment (excluding temporary workers) in the construction sector has held up well after twelve consecutive quarters of growth: +0.4% compared with +0.7% in the previous quarter (i.e. +5,700 jobs after +10,100). Over one year, it has risen by 33,600.

After three quarters of virtual stability, industrial employment fell again, moderately: -0.3% (or -10,000 jobs), the first decline since the beginning of 2017. Over one year, private salaried employment in industry fell by 7,500.

In market services, private payroll employment dropped : -3.5% over the quarter (i.e. -437,900). Excluding temporary workers, it fell sharply: -1.3% after +0.6% in the previous quarter. The drop at the beginning of 2020 cancels out the increases observed for the last three quarters and market services employment excluding temporary workers thus returns to the previous year's level.

Private employment in non-market services fell in the quarter (-0.4% or -10,000). It was almost stable over the year (-2,600).

Temporary employment dropped by 37.0%, an unprecedented collapse

At the end of the first quarter of 2020, temporary employment fell considerably: -37.0% compared to the end of 2019 (i.e. -291,800 jobs). Over one year, it fell by 37.5% (or -298,400 jobs) and returned to its lowest level since mid-2009. This is the largest decline in the quarterly series of temporary employment (available since the first quarter of 1990). By comparison, at the height of the economic crisis in 2008/09, temporary employment fell by 13.9% in Q4 2008 and by 13.0% in Q1 2009.

Private payroll employment change – in thousands

SA data in thousands
Private payroll employment change – in thousands (SA data in thousands)
Change in thousands in 3 months Change in thousands in 1 year Level
2019 2020 2020 2020
Q4 Q1 Q1 Q1
Agriculture 0.5 -1.6 2.5 292.1
Goods-producing industries excl. Construction -0.3 -10,0 -7.5 3,108.9
Construction 10.1 5.7 33.6 1,428,5
Market services 67.5 -437.9 -300.8 11,963.3
Temporary employment (*) -1.9 -291.8 -298.4 496.9
Excluding temporary work 69.4 -146.1 -2.5 11,466.4
Non-market services 11.0 -10.0 -2.6 2,494.9
Total Private 88.8 -453.8 -247.9 19,287,7
  • How to read it: In Q1 2020, net private job destruction in market services amounted to 437.900 jobs from the previous quarter.
  • (*) Temporary workers are recorded in services, regardless of the sector in which they carry out their mission effectively.
  • Scope: private payroll employment; France, excluding Mayotte.
  • Sources : Insee and Dares

Private payroll employment change – in percentage points

SA data in %
Private payroll employment change – in percentage points (SA data in %)
Change in percentage points in 3 months Change in percentage points in 1 year
2019 2020 2020
Q4 Q1 Q1
Agriculture 0.2 -0.5 0.9
Goods-producing industries excl. Construction 0.0 -0.3 -0.2
Construction 0.7 0.4 2.4
Market services 0.5 -3.5 -2.5
Temporary employment (*) -0.2 -37.0 -37.5
Excluding temporary work 0.6 -1.3 0.0
Non-market services 0.4 -0.4 -0.1
Total Private 0.4 -2.3 -1.4
  • (*) Temporary workers are recorded in services, regardless of the sector in which they carry out their mission effectively.
  • Scope: private payroll employment; France, excluding Mayotte.
  • Sources : Insee and Dares


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