Through Thibaut Calatayud
It is not a surprise. Like others, the aerospace industry has not been spared the consequences of the Covid-19 crisis. Friday, December 10, 2021, the National Institute of Statistics and Economic Studies (Insee) unveiled a study which shows the different effects of the pandemic on aeronautics and space companies in the Great South-West, namely the regions Occitania and New Aquitaine. Here is what emerges.
A quarter of the sector’s employees are in Toulouse
In the territory surveyed for this study carried out in spring 2021, there are 1,260 companies which accumulate 106 billion euros in turnover and who is recruiting 104,000 employees dedicated to aeronautical and space activities (75,000 in Occitanie which is the region with the most and 29,000 in New Aquitaine).
Just Toulouse, where we find the headquarters ofAirbus, a quarter of the employees (64,800 employees excluding temporary workers) in the national sector are concentrated. Another data that proves its importance in the Pink City: aeronautics and space regrouping 15.5% local market employment.
“An unprecedented drop in activity”
The arrival of the Covid-19 on French soil and the collapse of air traffic shook the entire industry, which felt a “Unprecedented decline in activity” according to INSEE.
“The use of production capacities and turnover have fallen considerably in the Grand Sud-Ouest. The overall rate of use of production capacities rose from 93% in 2019, a year marked by a strong increase in production. and recruitment difficulties, at 74% in 2020. Turnover related to aerospace activities fell by 45 billion euros: the drop (- 34%) is comparable at the national level (- 32%). effects of the crisis with a turnover down by%, while the space sector is resisting 35% better with a decline of 10% in the Great South-West as well as at the national level “.
To explain this significant drop in turnover, the institute lists the three causes most cited by companies: fall in demand (76% of companies), health constraints (58%) and supply difficulties (18%).
Aerospace: 6,000 jobs cut in the Grand Sud-Ouest
In its study, INSEE estimates that “The effects on salaried employment are relatively moderate in view of the magnitude of the fall in activity” in the Great Southwest.
“Employment dedicated to aeronautics and space activity (excluding temporary work, editor’s note) fell by 6% in the Great South-West (i.e. the equivalent of 6,000 jobs, editor’s note), or 2 points less than at the level The decline is greater in aeronautics (-7%) than in space (-3%), however, metallurgy (-16%), IT activities (-12%) and trade and logistics (- 9%) are more affected “.
Large groups (-5%) and mid-size companies (-6%) have saved relatively little, especially when compared with SMEs and microenterprises where workforce reduction is much more observed (-14%).
9 out of 10 companies assisted
If the bleeding was “relatively moderate”, INSEE indicates that this is largely due to the various support devices deployed, whether at the local or national level. In the aerospace sector, 9 out of 10 companies use this aid. In details :
- 8 out of 10 companies made use of the partial activity in 2020 (In 2021, one in three companies continues or plans to mobilize the partial long-term activity (APLD));
- 5 out of 10 companies requested delays in the payment of social or fiscal installments, loans guaranteed by the State (PGE);
- 15% of businesses have benefited from regional or local aid.
Less than 2 in 10 companies are working on environmental projects
Positive point mentioned by the institute: “The crisis has, in general, not put a stop to the projects already underway” for half of the companies in the Great South-West. “These projects can be digital transformation plans (30% of companies) or projects for diversification or investment in new activities (28% of companies)”, details INSEE.
While environmental projects often make the headlines (Airbus, Aura Aero, Ascendance, etc.), only 19% companies in the Great South-West have them for their production sites and 8% for their aircraft or spacecraft. “However, the ambitious objective of achieving carbon neutrality by 2050 could encourage companies in the sector to continue, or even step up, investment to reduce CO2 emissions”, estimates INSEE.
Large companies want to recruit
The last part of the study concerns the outlook for the activity of managers in the Greater South West. And opinions differ depending on the size of the structures …
“Large companies are more confident about the recovery of aeronautics activity, when heads of SMEs and mid-cap companies are more pessimistic, especially in the first half of the year.”
Finally, the study announces that half of aerospace companies have recruited or are considering recruiting staff in 2021. Needs that are felt mainly in large companies (62%) and mid-size companies (59%). On the other hand, the prospects for recruiting temporary workers are slightly negative, “a sign of a timid anticipation of recovery”, according to INSEE.
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