Tech Sector growth is outpacing all other sectors in France

Jan 22, 2013
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Business GraphSyntec Numérique, one France’s leading professional organization representing the tech sector, just published a report offering some interesting and encouraging findings on the state of France’s tech sector.  Not surprisingly, the sector has been major driver of economic and job growth in France over the last decade, outpacing many other sectors.  Here are some of the most compelling findings of the report (as a note, the study excludes tech employees in the public sector as well as several large tech companies, such as Bull, Microsoft, Cisco, etc):

  • The tech job market arguably offers employees the best employment scenarios in France, namely highly paid (vs the overall job market), secure, and more senior jobs.  Approximately 93% of tech employees in France are in permanent work contracts (CDIs), the average salary is 46,5k€ which is 43% higher than the average salary in France, and 67% of the jobs in the sector are ‘cadre’ (manager) level.  Making a rough comparison to the US, this average salary comes in just under the US tech sector average and is arguably higher if you take into account the social benefits the CDI offers.
  • The number of employees in the sector has grown every year since 1994, with the exception of the post-internet bubble years in ’02 and ’03 and the early days of the financial crisis in ’09. In fact this growth, which averaged 6.5% from ’93 – ’10, has been so strong that the number of employees in the sector have tripled over the last two decades.
  • Albeit from a lower base, the strongest job growth from tech has actually been outside Ile-de-France. Poitou-Charentes, Pays de la Loire, Bretagne, the Languedoc, and Auvergne all posted job growth between 7,5% – 9,5% between ’93 – ’10. Not surprisingly, the bulk of tech jobs are still in Ile-de-France which grew between 6 – 7.5% over the period. However, perhaps this shows that in a highly centralized country like France, there’s still a lot of value to be created beyond Ile-de-France.
  • As in other markets, it’s hard to find engineering talent, essentially because the vast majority are already employed. The number of job seekers with computer engineer, BAC 5+ profiles in 2010 was only 4% vs 7% for all tech jobs and 11% for all job seekers.
  • The total revenues and value generated by the sector totals €62 billion and approx €32 billion respectively.  The €32 billion in value represented roughly 93k€ of value created per employee.  If we look specifically at the information and information services part of the sector, the overall value created grew 3 times as fast as the overall tech sector.
  • The information and information services sub-sector, also proved to be a big recipient of investment over the last 10 years, with investments growing at an average rate of 4.3% vs just 1.3% across all other ‘product’ categories.

Given the strong momentum around tech in France and the fact that France’s business sector and government are increasingly betting on the tech sector to be a principal driver of growth in the future, it’s a safe assumption that these positive trends will continue.  Perhaps the bigger challenge for France is to figure out how extend the success of the tech sector across France’s economy and, as Syntec is working on now, figure how to better equip French youth careers in tech.

The study has a lot of other interesting findings as well, so make sure to download the full report here.