They tried to hunker down by crossing their fingers, but it was not enough. As France attacks the fourth week of confinement to stem the Covid-19 epidemic, more and more companies are resorting to short-time working in Ile-de-France and Oise.
Between Wednesday and Friday, the number of employees concerned increased from 800,000 to 1,280,000 in Ile-de-France. For example, Val-d’Oise registers 438 additional requests each day. Not to mention the Liberals and other independents, who cannot benefit from the measure.
87% of local shops (excluding food) closed
“We carry out a survey every week,” said Didier Kling, president of the Ile-de-France Chamber of Commerce and Industry (CCI). The last date was April 3, where we interviewed 23,800 business leaders. For those who can still work, 81% report a drop in turnover, 35% of cash flow problems and 27% of supply disruptions. For example, in the building industry, some sites are stopped for lack of materials which normally come from abroad. The results of this survey show that 87% of local shops (excluding food) are affected by administrative closure measures. Result, a massive recourse to partial unemployment.
More than one in five employees has ceased their professional activity or only exercises it part-time, while continuing to receive at least 84% of their net salary, while the employer is compensated 100% of the hours unemployed (up to 4.5 times the minimum wage). To limit the damage without going through the redundancies box, a third of Ile-de-France establishments have made a request for recourse to partial activity.
Hotel and catering, trade and construction hit hard
Overall, Ile-de-France, which accounts for 23% of jobs in the territory, is doing a little better than the whole country: on April 1, it had 20% of people on short-time work (800,000 in Ile-de-France, for 3.9 million in total). Three sectors are hit hard: the hotel and catering industry, trade and construction.
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A third found throughout the region, but not necessarily in order, depending on the share of these sectors of activity in the local economy. Despite the instructions from the Ministry of Labor not to communicate the departmental figures, we were able to reconstruct the situation in Ile-de-France.
Thus, in the Yvelines, the companies that ask the most for partial unemployment are the administrative service and support activities, after the textile and clothing industry, of which more than a third of establishments have passed. partially unemployed, and half of the water and sanitation companies.
“It is important in proportion to the number of companies in the sector, but in fact, for water, for example, there are only 17,” says one in the prefecture. On the other hand, for automobile construction, there are 18 establishments but 4 million hours. »Almost 10% of the hours worked in the department. Particularly among the giants PSA and Renault.
The mastodons not spared
In Val-de-Marne, the closure of Orly airport impacts 90,000 direct and indirect jobs. In Seine-et-Marne, the use of short-time working more than doubled in one week, going from 44,000 to almost 100,000 employees affected. Among them, the 15,000 employees of Euro Disney. In this department, the construction sector is also particularly affected. As in Val-d’Oise, where “the largest volumes of requests concern the building sector”. A department with between a third and a quarter of its employees in reduced activity.
“90% of the sites are stopped, the activity is reduced to its simplest expression,” summarizes the French Building Federation (FFB). There were a few exchanges of words with the minister who introduced us as deserters. But for us, the priority is the health and safety of employees, and not to be accused, in the long term, of having contributed to spreading the virus. “
A guide to good practice was finally released at the end of the week. “The problem that remains, major and essential, is the availability of masks,” sighs a member of the FFB. And even with, “recovery will not be done with a snap of the fingers”. “If you have to be far from each other, organize a tour in the refectory, it will surely have an impact on productivity which will drop and therefore costs which will increase”, he predicts.
Smaller structures find it harder to weather the storm
Among the companies that use short-time working, 73% have less than 10 employees. And only 3% concerns large groups of more than 250 employees. “70% of artisans work alone and they obviously do not have the right to partial activity since they are not salaried,” says Samuel Cucherel, of the Regional Chamber of Trades and Crafts which set up a telephone platform to be by their side (directory to be found on Crma-idf.com).
“We receive 650 calls and emails every day,” he continues. Administrative closings concern 10% of artisans but 20% of calls because for them, the business closes and everything stops. We respond to everyone, to help them save what can be saved and show them that they are not alone in the face of the crisis. “Thus,” 93% of the calls concern the solidarity fund “. The Chamber of Trades will put online at the end of the week a directory of craftsmen and traders still in activity, specifying the times during the confinement period.
Those who stay open still suffer
It is not because they have the right to continue the activity that the basic necessities escape the crisis. “People are confined and no longer consume,” recalls Samuel Cucherel. Taxi drivers and VTCs, who have the right to move, register a drop in activity of more than 50%. Bakeries are also seeing a drop in attendance. “
If business leaders in the turmoil find it difficult to imagine leaving the tunnel, the boss of the CCI is “fairly confident about the way out of the crisis”. “Unlike 2008, this is not a financial, liquidity crisis with banks that no longer lend. It was much more brutal, but it will last less time and the fundamentals of the economy are not affected. The needs are still there. The economy has all the ingredients to restart at the end of containment. I’m more worried about a year from now. When the deadlines will be double with regard to social charges and loans, which are only postponed for the moment. “
CCI emergency unit. Phone. 01.55.65.44.44. Email address: [email protected]
The economic consequences of coronavirus in Ile-de-France