Insee
Informations Rapides · 7 May 2021 · n° 121
Informations rapidesIn Q1 2021, payroll employment increased by 0.3% (flash estimate)Flash estimate of payroll employment - first quarter 2021

Between the end of December 2020 and the end of March 2021, private payroll employment increased by 0.3%, or 57,300 net job creations. The increase follows the drops resulting from the health crisis and lockdown. Employment dropped strongly in the first semester (-3.2% that is -625,300 jobs) and more slightly in the fourth quarter (-0.1% that is -28,800 jobs). This is the second quarterly increase since the crisis began, after the already sharp rebound in the summer 2020 (+1.7% or +333,900 jobs between the end of June and the end of September). Overall, private payroll employment remains below its pre-crisis level. At the end of Q1 2021 it is 1.3% below its level at the end of 2019 (or -262,900 jobs), close to its level at the end of 2018.

Informations rapides
No 121
Paru le : Paru le 07/05/2021
Prochaine parution le : 05/08/2022 at 08:45 - second quarter 2022

In Q1 2021, private payroll employment increased: +0.3% after -0.1% in the previous quarter

Between the end of December 2020 and the end of March 2021, private payroll employment increased by 0.3%, or 57,300 net job creations. The increase follows the drops resulting from the health crisis and lockdown. Employment dropped strongly in the first semester (-3.2% that is -625,300 jobs) and more slightly in the fourth quarter (-0.1% that is -28,800 jobs). This is the second quarterly increase since the crisis began, after the already sharp rebound in the summer 2020 (+1.7% or +333,900 jobs between the end of June and the end of September). Overall, private payroll employment remains below its pre-crisis level. At the end of Q1 2021 it is 1.3% below its level at the end of 2019 (or -262,900 jobs), close to its level at the end of 2018.

Temporary employment was stable in Q1 2021 after three increasing quarters, and remains below its pre-crisis level

In Q1 2021, temporary employment has stalled (+0.1% or +700 jobs) after three increasing quarters (+22.9%, 22,8% and +5,0% in the second, third and fourth quarters of 2020, or a total of +275,100 jobs). These increases do not fully compensate for the historic drop in the first quarter of 2020 (-40.3% of -317,000 jobs). Temporary employment remains below its pre-crisis level. In March 2021 it is 5.2% below its level at the end of 2019 (that is -41,200 jobs).

Excluding temporary work, private payroll employment increased by 0.3% (+56,600 jobs). As a reminder, in this publication temporary workers are accounted for in the temporary employment sector then pays them (within market services), whichever sector they carry out their assignment (industry, construction, market or non market services).

Excluding temporary work, private payroll employment increased in all sectors

Industrial employment (excluding temporary workers) increased for the first time since the crisis began: +0.2% in Q1 2021 (or +4,900 jobs), after a 1.9% drop for the whole year 2020 (-57,700 jobs). Industrial employment remains significantly lower than its pre-crisis level: -1.7% between December 2019 and March 2021 (that is -52,800 jobs).

In non temporary market services, private payroll employment increased again slightly: +0.2% after -0.8% in the previous quarter (that is +27,000 after -86,500 jobs). It remains 2.1% below its pre-crisis level (-248,600 jobs).

Private payroll employment (excluding temporary workers) in construction increased sharply again in Q1 2021 (+1.2%) after +0.7% in the previous quarter (that is +16,800 after +10,400 jobs). It remains above its pre-crisis level: +3.3% compared to the end of 2019 (+47,800 jobs).

In non market services, private payroll employment increased again over the quarter: +0.3% in the first quarter of 2021 (that is +7,200) after +0.7% (that is +16,800 jobs). It exceeded by 1.2% its level at the end of 2019 (+30,900).

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 Change in thousands since compared to the end of 2019 Level
2020 2021 2021 2021 2021
Q4 Q1 Q1 Q1 Q1
Agriculture 8.1 0.6 2.6 1.0 308.5
Goods-producing industries excl. Construction -13.3 4.9 -41.8 -52.8 3064.9
Construction 10.4 16.8 51.2 47.8 1481.5
Market services -50.9 27.7 163.0 -289.8 12112.0
Temporary employment (*) 35.6 0.7 275.8 -41.2 746.2
Excluding temporary work -86.5 27.0 -112.7 -248.6 11365.8
Non-market services 16.8 7.2 43.1 30.9 2522.9
Total Private -28.8 57.3 218.3 -262.9 19489.8
  • How to read it: In Q1 2010, net private job creations in market services amounted to 27,700 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 Change in percentage points compared to the end of 2019
2020 2021 2021 2021
Q4 Q1 Q1 Q1
Agriculture 2.7 0.2 0.9 0.3
Goods-producing industries excl. Construction -0.4 0.2 -1.3 -1.7
Construction 0.7 1.2 3.6 3.3
Market services -0.4 0.2 1.4 -2.3
Temporary employment (*) 5.0 0.1 58.6 -5.2
Excluding temporary work -0.8 0.2 -1.0 -2.1
Non-market services 0.7 0.3 1.7 1.2
Total Private -0.1 0.3 1.1 -1.3
  • (*) 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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