Will companies increase wages to cope with the recruitment shortage?

Will pay increases rain this year? While France has been in an economic recovery phase for several months, several sectors are struggling to find labor. At the beginning of September, the Union of local businesses (U2P) assured that “30% of businesses” were experiencing “recruitment difficulties”, due in particular to
the absence of candidates.

Certain sectors, such as hotels and restaurants, or even construction, are particularly affected. Faced with this observation, the president of Medef, Geoffroy Roux de Bézieux, recognized at the end of August that “there will inevitably be fairly significant (salary) increases next year”. And this Wednesday, Prime Minister Jean Castex called for the opening of negotiations between employers and unions in the professional branches affected by recruitment difficulties.

A little increase … but not too much

“Such discussions have already been initiated in seven branches: prevention and safety, road transport, (…) trade, waste, cleaning, retail trade, fruit and vegetables and finally (…) home help (…)” a-t -He underlines. In this last sector, wage increases of 13 to 15% have already been registered for association employees.

“Contrary to what we have been told for a long time, the wage increase is not the enemy of employment or competitiveness, rejoices Yves Veyrier, General Secretary of Force Ouvrière. The change in discourse is notable, especially in government, and that’s good ”.

The revaluation movement therefore seems well underway for certain professions perceived today as unattractive. Nevertheless, according to economist Mireille Bruyère interviewed by Marianne, do not expect a tidal wave. According to her, companies have every interest in not increasing wages too much in order to continue to benefit from exemptions: “the reductions in these contributions apply for wages that do not exceed 1.6 times the minimum wage. The system decreases as wages increase (…) The exemptions ultimately lead to a reduction in wages around the minimum wage ”.

Quality and training

In addition, to convince candidates, the payslip does not do everything. The hotel and catering industry, for example, was pinned down by the Minister of Labor Elisabeth Borne before the holidays. “This is an area where there are a lot of fixed-term contracts. People may also want longer contracts. It must be something important, to have better quality jobs, ”she explained last June. “We need a global revaluation of these jobs, especially all those in the“ second line ”(cashiers, transporters), to make them more attractive, beyond the salary,” said Yves Veyrier.

In addition, recruitment difficulties can also be linked to a lack of training. In digital, for example, the offer of web developers (ie people with the necessary skills) is lower than business demand. Consequently, even if companies strongly increase their wages, the shortage of labor will always be there. “When we directly question business leaders, the main obstacle to recruitment is not salary, it is first and foremost the lack of skills of job seekers, which leads to record recruitment difficulties. cohabit with mass unemployment ”assures Emmanuel Jessua, economist at the Rexecode Institute.

Finally, for sectors that are not affected by these difficulties, we should not expect an exceptional 2021 vintage. According to a study by Mercer released this summer, companies are forecasting wage increases of around 1.4% for this year. A percentage lower than inflation (which could reach 2% in 2021), which means that even with an increased pay, employees will lose some purchasing power. They will still be luckier than those who get no raise. According to Mercer, this affects more than 55% of employees in the companies surveyed.

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