We recently wrote an article explaining why house prices were so cheap here in Normandy compared to, for example, the United Kingdom, Ireland, Australia etc. If you missed this article you can read it here
This prompted some comments surrounding the job opportunities or potentially the lack of them. Could it also be that house prices were significantly lower due to the inability to find work? We are happy to say that this is not the case at all. It is also not the case that French companies only “employ their own” as so many believe it to be. It is perfectly possible to find employment within a French company in and around the area that we sell houses in.
In fact, did you know that this area of Normandy (Manche 50) has a very low unemployment rate, a thriving tourist industry and many local producers of products that are shipped worldwide? We have international companies such as La Président (producers of that famous butter), Thibaut (worldwide leader in the manufacture of machines, specifically used for the cutting of granite, stone, marble etc), Andouille de Vire (famous Normandy sausage produced in Vire), Normandise Pet Food (again very local in Vire – a producer of pet food that is shipped worldwide) and so it continues with chocolate, biscuit and pharmaceutical manufacturers to name but a few.
This area is thriving with companies that produce and ship worldwide, not to mention we are situated approximately 1 hour 20 minutes from the D Day landing beaches, 1 hour away from Mont St Michel and glorious beaches. These are all visited by tourists worldwide.
To give you an idea of national statistics in our region (source L’INSEE) and quoted from their most recent publication on Thursday 6 July 2023…
“The unemployment rate remains at its lowest level in Normandy since 1982. In La Manche, the figure is stagnating.”
“Normandy remains in 7th place among the regions least affected by unemployment, on a par with Ile-de-France (Paris region) and Centre-Val de Loire.”
The unemployment rate for the Manche was the lowest at 5.1% and certain areas within the Manche were even lower still, for example, Saint-Lô at 4.6%.
This is well below the national average of 7.2%. So, you will see, that it is perfectly possible to buy a house significantly cheaper and to find paid employment within a French company.
It is very likely, that if you are contemplating moving to France or are already here – you are going to need some form of income. You may well have already submitted a business plan if you need a VISA to live here or have an idea of what you wish to create once you arrive.
Many arrive with basic French so it is natural for non French speakers to try and set up as an Auto Entrepreneur, that is, self-employed. This gives you the freedom to create your own business and there are many, many successful businesses that are created by non French nationals.
If you have a trade for example, this is certainly a good way to start a business or apply to work for a French company. You may need to go on a course to be certified as a French Artesian, if you are setting up your own business, however there is nothing to stop you having a trial period within a local French firm.
Tradespersons have been in steep decline, not just in the UK but also across Europe and France is no exception. These are particular sought after.
You can also find other ways to search for employment, such as…
Pôle Emploi (job centre) – here you may be able to attend an intensive language course (depending on your level) free of charge and with the added bonus of being paid to go there! Each area will differ, as to availability and length of the course but you will find all this information at your local job centre.
There are many adverts in the local paper each week as well as the on line version of them, so be sure to like and follow as many local pages as possible. You will also find jobs advertised in local buy and sell groups which can be French or English speaking groups.
On line agencies
Indeed, Jobrapido and many others. You will see all these agencies advertised on French television. And don’t forget there are lots of ‘remote’ jobs advertised on the UK versions of these agencies.
You will often see local companies recruiting with signs and billboards outside their premises.
This is an excellent way to get your foot in the door and to improve your French. Go and see your local Mairie and ask about any opportunities to volunteer within the local community.
This could be at a local food bank, school, library etc.
There is nothing wrong with having a look at what the local area has to offer in terms and employment and heading into their offices to speak about any vacances. There are many examples on line and tips on creating your French CV. The worse that can happen is they say no thank you and the best? Yes please!
We hope you have found this in some way useful. We have included some handy links at the end of this post. And finally, Bonne Chance with your search!