In France 45% of employment under foreign control is concentrated in medium-sized companies and 32% in large companies. In the first place, the American multinationals employ 532,000 people. Next come German and Swiss companies.

Foreign-controlled companies account for 17% of the total added value of companies in France, in the non-agricultural and non-financial market sectors.

Foreign multinationals represent a boon for the French economy. According to an INSEE study, in 2017, the 16,800 companies under foreign control present in France employed 2.2 million French people, employees and temporary workers. That is 13% of the workforce in the non-agricultural and non-financial market sectors, while they control less than 1% of the total number of businesses. In 2016, they were 1.8 million working in some 28,600 companies controlled by foreign multinational firms.

In detail, the statistics institute underlines that 45% of employment under foreign control in France is concentrated in medium-sized companies (ETI), against 38% in large companies. “In comparison, French multinational firms concentrate 32% of their employees in France in mid-cap companies and 61% in large companies,” notes the INSEE report.

108 foreign countries established in France

But the study’s conclusions go further. INSEE also looked at the countries of origin of companies established in France. American multinationals are over-represented: they employ 523,800 people, 146,000 of whom are temporary workers.

However, the European Union accounts for 55% of employment in France under foreign control. Behind the United States, Germany employs 324,400 people, followed by the Netherlands (200,500 people), the United Kingdom (184,600 people) and Belgium (131,500). “In total, 108 foreign countries control companies in France”, underlines INSEE.

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Foreign-controlled jobs are also over-represented in certain sectors. The manufacturing industry thus accounts for 32% of jobs in these multinationals, against 26% of jobs in French multinational firms and 12% of those in other French companies. This is followed by administrative and support service activities, including temporary work, with 24% of jobs under foreign control.

For INSEE, the concentration of these jobs in certain sectors is correlated with the countries of origin of companies: “Japan, Italy, Germany and Sweden concentrate more than 40% of their jobs in industry, against only 18% and 15% respectively for Great Britain and the Netherlands ”.

Almost 17% of added value

“At 57,300 euros, the average wage costs per head are higher in these companies when in multinationals under French control (55,900 euros)”, details INSEE which explains that this difference comes mainly from trade, where the average costs per head in France amount to 57,500 euros for companies under foreign control.

Finally, these foreign multinationals have an economic weight that is far from negligible. They thus achieve 17% of the total added value produced in France by the non-agricultural and non-financial market sectors. Or 169 billion euros.