Meeting employment challenges in Hauts-de-France

At 11.9% unemployment, the Hauts-de-France region has the highest unemployment rate of all metropolitan regions in France. In order to help policymakers better navigate these challenges, we’ve joined forces with Hauts-de-France to release the first-ever Economic Graph report in France. With over 720,000 LinkedIn members in the region, we are able to map the jobs and skills that define the local labor market. In the words of Xavier Bertrand, president of the region, “This mapping of the regional economy will enable Proch'Emploi [a government service to help jobseekers] to better identify training needs and sectors that recruit.”

Since LinkedIn membership spans across Hauts-de-France’s core industries, our data permits a holistic overview of the local economy, including the gaps where policymakers need to review and improve labor initiatives.

Industry Trends in Hauts-de-France

In line with historical trends, manufacturing is Hauts-de-France’s leading industry—employing 16% of LinkedIn members in the region—followed by software & IT services (10%) and corporate services (9%). Within the manufacturing sector, top employers are in the automobile, food production and mechanical engineering industries.

The sectors which are most actively hiring indicate which industries are growing, and which could dominate the region in the future. It’s clear from the data that, while historically-prominent automobile and engineering industries are still doing well, they are not growing as quickly as other industries. In fact, it was the finance, retail and food production sectors that drove the most hiring growth over the past 12 months. And it’s the skills needed in these growing industries that are the most in-demand skills in the region. Perhaps unsurprisingly, many of these are tech skills, such as programming languages and machine learning. Today, only 10% of LinkedIn members in Hauts-de-France work in the software & IT services industry—but the growing demand for tech skills suggests that the broader tech sector will expand alongside the digitization of the economy.

A look at talent supply in Hauts-de-France

To understand incoming talent trends, we took a look at the newest members of the workforce: recent graduates from local universities. While about 50% of Hauts-de-France’s recent grads left for Paris or international destinations, the majority did remain in France; Lille, the region’s capital, is home to over 40% of local grads. Moreover, the international movement of Hauts-de-France LinkedIn members showed that for every member who left, another returned. At a time when mobility is easier than ever, this high talent retention is a positive sign for the region’s economic potential.

When coupled with skills data, the migration data indicates that Hauts-de-France is gaining talent skilled in eco-friendly construction and design, as well as in oil and gas, and subsea engineering. But the region lacks legal and financial expertise, and members with those skills are most likely to leave—often for Paris, Belgium, or the United Kingdom.

We believe that granular, timely insights into local economic dynamics can empower policymakers to make informed decisions regarding their labor markets. This Economic Graph analysis for the Hauts-de-France region, combined with LinkedIn’s product tools to support the region’s Proch'Emploi services for jobseekers, has the potential to help the region drive change via data-driven policy initiatives to create economic opportunity for members of the local workforce.

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