- After 3 years marked by crises, multifactorial difficulties (repayment of COVID-19 and PGE debts, rate hikes, inflation, rising energy prices, shortages, etc.) are accentuating the weaknesses of business leaders, even though the Urssaf assignments have not yet resumed.
- A median age of 46,3 years which challenges the professional rebound of entrepreneurs.
- The managers of VSEs, with a turnover of less than €500.000, are more difficult to resist economic hazards.
The number of “unemployed” entrepreneurs is approaching the pre-crisis level
After a downturn in 2021, the difficulties are accelerating for business leaders and leading to an increase in job losses: 38.670 people found themselves in a situation of “unemployment” in 2022 (+ 34,1%).
For Anthony Streicher, President of the GSC association: “Every day, more than 100 business leaders lose their jobs. The figures for 2022 alert us to a reality that we already knew. Entrepreneurs have to deal with a particularly difficult economic context in which weaknesses multiply and feed off each other. Labor shortages and rising energy costs compound the challenges they faced. While cash tensions are already being felt, the resumption of Urssaf subpoena procedures in 2023 could further accelerate the rise in defaults already observed in 2022.
The median age of impacted entrepreneurs is approaching that of before the Covid-19 crisis and stands at 46,3 years. The “senior” category remains particularly exposed. More than a third of business leaders (36,8%) are over 51 years old. The question of professional rebound remains central for this mature population.
The increase is slightly lower for young entrepreneurs under 26: 929 found themselves in a situation of job loss, ie + 31,6% over one year.
For Anthony Streicher: “These signals, which suggest a return to pre-crisis levels from 2023, should lead us to reflect collectively on the future that we wish to offer these women and men. Nearly 2 out of 3 entrepreneurs did not anticipate a possible loss of employment (1). Everyone must be free to secure their professional career or not, but let us be aware that it is collectively about the ability to resume the France. »
A very strong acceleration for SME business leaders
Three quarters (75,2%) of the entrepreneurs impacted were at the head of a structure with less than 3 employees. The wage bill represents a significant cost for these companies, to which are added short-term economic difficulties (reimbursement of PGEs, inflation, rate hikes, energy bills, etc.). The strongest increase observed concerns companies with more than 50 employees: 131 were concerned in 2021 against 198 in 2022 (+51,1%).
17.224 SARL and 14.955 SAS managers were affected by the loss of their business. These increases, of 34,9% and 55,5% respectively compared to last year, can be explained in particular by the increase in business creations under this latter legal status. 3.392 craftsmen-traders, on the front line in the face of soaring energy costs, found themselves unemployed in 2022.
For Frédéric Barth, CEO of Altares: “Health crisis, geopolitics, energy, climate… The tremors follow one another. Yet the economy is still showing surprising resilience, to the point that the threat of a once-dreaded recession seems to be receding. The indices are better than expected at the start of the year, but business leaders will have to deal with risks that are still very present. Among these, the failure of their business partners or even their own company. Indeed, having fallen to a low of more than thirty years in 2021, insolvencies are now soaring among VSEs but also SMEs weakened by this “permacrisis” which has taken hold over the months. 9.300 companies have already gone bankrupt in January-February 2023, this is a thousand more than at the start of 2020 before the pandemic paralyzed the economy”
Nearly 8 out of 10 entrepreneurs (79,8% or 17 women and men) affected were at the head of a company whose turnover was less than 085 euros, thus confirming that small structures remain the most vulnerable. . Conversely, only 500.000 business leaders declared a turnover of more than 306 million euros.
BtoC activities particularly exposed, the building industry not spared
Despite full order books, building contractors are penalized by supply difficulties, raw material costs and labor shortages. Thus, 8.607 business leaders in the sector found themselves unemployed.
The change in consumer behavior, in an inflationary context, has a particularly strong impact on women and men working in trade, personal services or in accommodation, restaurants and drinking establishments. These three activities alone represent 40% of court-ordered liquidations in 2022. In detail, 3.942 restaurateurs lost their jobs (+ 92,3%), 1.698 garage traders (+ 29%) and 1.288 hairdressing and personal care craftsmen. beauty and personal care (+78,1%).
Building professionals working in the finishing works of the building are not spared with 4.553 craftsmen (+ 38,6%) who have lost their jobs.
An increase in entrepreneurs in a situation of “unemployment” which is taking place in the territories
Ile-de-France, the territory with the largest number of companies, represents less than a quarter of job losses (8.366 business leaders, + 27,2%), due to its economic dynamism in 2022. In a South-Provence Alpes-Côte d'Azur region driven by tourism, the number of unemployed business leaders has seen a moderate increase of +28,8% to 3.838.
Conversely, Hauts-de-France, shows a severe deterioration (+ 73,3%), in particular in Aisne which already exceeds the figures from before the Covid-19 crisis (317 entrepreneurs in 2022 against 277 in 2019).
In two regions, the increase in job losses is more than 50%: Normandy (1.406; + 56%) and Occitanie (3.266; + 53,1%).
4.316 business leaders in Auvergne-Rhône-Alpes lost their jobs in 2022, an increase of 47,3%.
The data comes from the analysis of companies, excluding civil companies and associations, placed directly, by conversion or by resolution of the plan in compulsory liquidation by the Commercial or Judicial Court. The procedures for amicable closure or dissolution, as well as the dismissal of corporate officers, are not included.