A record number of employees in France left their jobs at the end of last year and beginning of 2022, according to research undertaken by the labour ministry, as the bargaining power balance moves away from employers.

The study carried out by the labour ministry's Dares research organisation found that over one million workers quit their jobs between October and March. As many as 90% of whom had highly sought-after permanent work contracts offering top level job protection.

Despite the figures being at an all-time high, Reuters news agency reports, the trend was not as robust in comparative terms, considering the country’s overall workforce has been increasing over the past few years, Dares stated.

A rising number of people in several countries around the world made the decision to leave their employment during the pandemic as workers began to reassess their careers and life decisions, labelled the ‘Great Resignation’ by a U.S. management professor.

However, according to the labour ministry’s research organisation, these latest figures for France didn’t indicate a reduction in the workforce on that scale.

Dares stated the rate of resignation in the second largest economy in the eurozone was 2.7% in Q1 this year, the highest seen since the financial crisis of 2008/09, yet under the 2.9% mark reached just before, the Reuters report goes on to add.

"In the current context, the increase in the resignation rate thus appears to be normal, in line with the economic recovery from the COVID-19 crisis", the research body stated.

The trend has been fuelled by tensions within the labour market. Employers continue to struggle to recruit sufficient staff, particularly in the construction and hospitality industries, leading to job opportunities for many workers.

"Bargaining power is changing in favour of employees," Dares went on to say.

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