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Employment: R&D bears the brunt of the crisis

Laurent Cousin

According to APEC figures, job offers in research and development have declined by 37% compared to last year.

According to the APEC barometer, the main indicator of the job market for cadres, the economic crisis has hit R&D head on.

The organization has just published its quarterly trend report that gives figures for the third quarter 2009 and compares them with the same period in 2008.

As regards positions, the number of offers specifying the “research, development” function, (15% of them), has gone from 12,872 to 8,104 (-37%), i.e. the second largest drop after technical services. A trend confirmed by ABG figures, with 11,2% fewer job offers in the period stretching from January to September 2009, compared to 2008.

On the employer side, in activity sectors, the “Engineering – R&D, audit-consulting” category dropped by 23%, a less than average decrease. According to APEC, “this is mainly due to the Engineering sector, where the volume of job offers for cadres decreased by 31 %, whereas in the field of Corporate Consulting the decline is 16 %.”

Recruitments: a positive side

In this sector, forecasts have sounded a note of hope: more companies than expected recruited at least one cadre in the third quarter (55% instead of the estimated 40%). And for the fourth quarter, 51% of them have plans to hire, a two-point rise compared to 2008.

On the whole, in the third quarter of 2009, only 46% of the companies interviewed recruited a cadre, which is the worst score since 2002, whereas the number of job offers dropped by 28% compared to the same period in 2008.As a reminder, in the second semester, the decline had been 34%. At the same time, the number of applications per offer is constantly on the rise: 48 candidacies per offer in the first half of 2009, compared to 34 a year ago.

More detailed information on ABG employment figures can be found in the December issue of Docteurs&Co.