Why France is relatively protected from the wave of layoffs in Tech

The haemorrhage among the tech and internet giants is massive. Since the start of 2022, 214,000 jobs have vanished, notably at Google, Facebook and Microsoft. In this context, France is resisting despite everything.

Amazon lays off 18,000 people worldwide, none in France

10,000 layoffs at Microsoft, 12,000 at Alphabet, parent company of Google. That of Facebook, Meta, separates from 11,000 employees. The latest announcement is that of Spotify: the world leader in music streaming has announced the loss of 600 jobs. This is the backlash of over-recruitment during the Covid pandemic. However, France resists. For example, of the 18,000 layoffs announced at Amazon, none concern French employees. Our labor law, but also the economic context allow us to somewhat escape the wave. During the pandemic, the American digital giants recruited with a vengeance, but not in France. The main reason, French legislation that makes dismissals long, complicated and costly, argues lawyer Bernard Lamon: “You have to put in place a procedure, go through consultations with the institutions or the staff. This protects against sudden movements”.

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Backmarket, a specialist in refurbished devices, has announced the separation of 96 employees, including 63 in France

Beyond labor law, the high-tech sector also lacks arms in France. For example, 15,000 positions are to be filled in cybersecurity. This forces you to think twice before parting with a collaborator: “In the field of tech, we are beyond full employment. If we deprive ourselves of 100 developers, we will not find them easily and it will be expensive”. In a context of global inflation, France has been able to contain the outbreak and avoid the famous price/wage loop, which makes the French worker more attractive to companies, explains Jacques-Aurélien Marcireau, New technologies specialist at Edmond de Rothschild : “salary inflation, particularly in Silicon Valley, has been so galloping that having its teams in France is extremely interesting in terms of costs”. However, French Tech is not completely spared by the current crisis. Backmarket, a specialist in refurbished devices, has announced the separation of 96 employees, including 63 in France.

Eric Kuoch

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