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18/07/2023

Temporary employment figures in decline in 2023

Interim - Temporary work

Despite a return to growth in 2022, the outlook for 2023 is bleak. In May, temporary employment fell by 6.6% year-on-year. Is this a turning point in the cycle for professionals in the sector? The experts at AURIS Finance, a consultancy specialising in mergers and acquisitions, explain.

The upturn in the temporary employment sector is over. In May 2023, temporary employment (temporary contracts and open-ended temporary contracts) represented 748,050 full-time equivalents (FTEs), down by 6.6% compared to May 2022, or 53,000 FTEs less in one year, according to figures published by Prism’emploi, the trade association representing the temporary employment sector. The organisation points out that this drop is particularly marked due to the specific nature of May 2023 and the positioning of public holidays during the week. Nevertheless, the long-term trend is downward. In the first four months of 2023, temporary employment had already fallen by 2.7% compared with the same period in 2022, representing a loss of 20,000 full-time equivalents over the year.

All sectors are trending lower

While all sectors are affected by this downturn, the services sector is particularly hard hit. In May 2023, for example, temporary employment in retail trade fell by 13.9 % over the year, while it fell by 10 % in services.

The decline was slightly less pronounced in construction (-6.5%) and to a lesser extent in industry (-2.6%), a previously resilient sector. The regions most affected are those with a large number of businesses specialising in trade and services, such as PACA (-12.5% over one year), Île-de-France (-8.5% over one year) and Nouvelle-Aquitaine (-8.9% over one year).

Factors behind the decline

As a leading indicator of employment, temporary employment is closely watched by economists. In 2023, the decline in the number of temporary workers points to a slowdown in the recovery. In the post-covid environment, characterised by a return to household consumption, companies sought to meet their orders by hiring temporary workers. This is no longer the case. Tensions in the employment market have led to caution on the part of companies which are now looking to retain in-house talent by offering them the chance to extend their fixed-term contract or move on to a permanent contract. Temporary workers are now used only as a last resort.

New opportunities ahead

Nevertheless, there are still plenty of opportunities for temporary employment agencies. Temporary employment is particularly sensitive to the economic climate and is an adjustment variable for companies. While the services sector is currently slowing down, other sectors are gaining momentum. One example is the nuclear industry, which could create up to 100,000 new jobs in France over the next ten years. For certain categories of workers, such as senior citizens, temporary work still remains a key entry point into the labour market.

Get the support you need

The temporary staffing sector has become increasingly concentrated in recent months. Some groups have opted for inorganic growth in order to capture new markets and accelerate their digital transformation. Thanks to their specific knowledge of the sector, AURIS Finance experts can help you with all your M&A transactions.

Contact us