President’s stakes in Aveyron: labor shortage, brake on Aveyron

(2/4). Less than a month before the first round of the presidential election, Center Press decided every Monday until April 4 to focus on four topics that are closely related to Aveyron: after farming last week, move it to the economy. Health will follow on March 28, and old age on April 4.

Two years ago, the world came to a standstill due to Covid. The anxiety was great for business leaders, most of whom were forced to temporarily lower the curtain. In just a few days, the entire French economy came to a complete halt, and Aveyron was no exception to the rule. At that time, it seemed impossible to imagine that after 24 months the department’s companies would return to the pre-crisis level of activity. And yet, in March 2022, this is indeed the case. If there are still government-guaranteed loans (PGEs) to be repaid, this does not appear to be a source of concern for the bosses, who have also taken full advantage of the recovery plan in many areas. Assistance schemes, which can reach significant sums, are mainly based on investment support. And in this regard, the Aveyron companies have played this game: projects worth almost 100 million euros have been launched, of which about 6 million euros have been directed to public assistance and promise the creation of several hundred jobs.

Theoretical full employment

But here the boot is tight. There are projects. Money to invest too. On the other hand, it is much more difficult for the workforce. With an unemployment rate of 5.8% for the department and below 5% for employment in Rodez, specialists believe that the territory is close to theoretical full employment “. The needs are significant in most areas, from industry to the agri-food sector, services, especially in health and agriculture. There is also an acute shortage of labor in the catering sector, both seasonal and permanent. Everything is very simple, with the exception of trade, which remains the last sector not yet fully recovered from the sudden stop of Covid, activity has resumed everywhere, the need for staff is huge. And there are no (enough) candidates. This is a serious problem, especially since it affects almost all areas notes Dominique Costes, President of the CCI, who is following the case with great attention. I have not met a single business leader who did not notice this problem. At the end of 2021, about 4,000 vacancies were available at Pôle emploi, but more importantly, the structure identified about 9,000 vacancies (for all types of contracts).

Insulation, services, transport, roads…

The situation is not new. And it goes far beyond companies. First of all, this is a question of the countryside. Aveyron has been defining the importance of developing its appeal for more than 10 years. The department’s public policy, put in place by the two previous mandates, failed to turn the tide, and the 300,000 residents (278,000 currently) limit set by the Department by 2030 will not be reached. Far from there. The new departmental term of office also considered the topic, but without any guarantee of success, as the topic is complex and beyond its competence. The departmental majority decided to attack the site with the issue of structural unemployment, with a global reflection, with all the actors in this area, to try to reintegrate those furthest from work. The issue of education is especially important. And help with retraining, and glue supply and demand, and keep young people in the territory. The theme of attractiveness is also relevant at a time when some people want to leave megacities. But for this we must give answers to questions that directly relate to the countryside: services, roads, transport, isolation from large cities … There are so many topics that all of Aveyron is waiting for answers from presidential candidates.

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