19% rise in resignations since Covid fuels French jobs boom

The pandemic has pushed people to explore alternative career paths, and has created a surge in opportunities. Some three million posts are expected to be on offer this year

Since Covid hit, there has been a sharp rise in the number of people quitting their jobs
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Some three million jobs are expected to be on offer in France this year as a result of new positions being created and a spike in the number of people resigning from their jobs, government jobseeker agency Pôle Emploi estimates.

Over the last two years, the number of people quitting their jobs has risen by 19%, as the Covid pandemic motivated workers to reevaluate their life choices and seek out projects which matter to them.

In addition, the pandemic has caused a rise in the number of posts on offer, which always leads to a higher resignation rate, Vincent Meyer, who is a professor at Normandy’s EM business school, told Franceinfo.

When Covid first took hold, the number of job vacancies fell sharply and redundancies surged. However, since the economy began to recover, the number of available positions has risen continually, both because of the new roles created by Covid-related administrative services and because businesses now need to replace the staff they lost during the lockdowns.

Industries including hospitality are still struggling to fill these vacancies, and this may be partly down to the fact that many foreign workers decided to go home during the pandemic, and have not returned.

Read more: Jobs boom: which sectors are recruiting most in France?

“There is a correlation between the [jobs available and the resignation rate]. When it is easier to find a job, people do not hesitate before resigning [from their current employment],” he said.

“Nowadays it is easier to move between businesses than it was previously,” an employee at Arthur’In, a digital marketing firm which has seen 13% of its staff resign in the last year, told Franceinfo.

The company has therefore begun to offer a two-month-long, paid sabbatical to staff who stay for at least three years, to give them a chance to consider their future career path without having to resign.

However, one employee said that she was being contacted by recruitment agencies every couple of weeks, so the sabbatical initiative may not succeed at retaining staff.

Figures from the labour ministry suggest that nearly 400,000 workers in France have resigned over the last three months alone.

It should be noted that in many cases, people who resign from their jobs are not entitled to French unemployment benefits. However, if you quit because you must move away or if you have been a victim of harmful acts such as bullying in the workplace, for example, you should still be able to access state support.

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