When the World’s Fair set up in Paris over one hundred years ago, the city put itself on the map as a hub of innovation and commerce, and today it’s a world leader in manufacturing and luxury products, tourism and technology. And today, Paris is the single most visited city in the world.

Every attraction or commodity that convinces people to move to Paris – Euro Disney, Yves Saint Laurent and the Louvre, La Durée macaroons, the Eiffel Tower and the Eurostar – brings a wealth of employment opportunities with it. And despite its current economic situation, living in Paris is still thought to be 20% cheaper than living in London.

This takes into account everything from rent and transport costs to food, entertainment and clothes. At least a quarter of France’s GDP is generated in Paris alone, and France was named the world’s fifth greatest economic power in recent years.

Working conditions

The French employed work one of the most favourable working weeks in Europe, capped at just 35 hours. Work a minute longer than this and you can expect to be paid overtime for your efforts, which could make it difficult transitioning back to your home country where, chances are, you’re expected to work beyond your contractual hours as standard. Five weeks’ paid leave is also standard across France too, and the country’s thirteen public holidays a year add over a fortnight to the holiday tally. Parisians work 40% less per year than South Koreans, and on average they retire a good four years before the average Briton. Pas mal.


The jobs market might have suffered as a result of the economic crisis, but President Hollande has recently introduced a pacte de responsabilités that’s intended to boost employment across the country by incentivising employers to create more jobs in their sectors. Social security contributions for staff will no longer be payable by employers, encouraging managers to hire more employees, create more jobs and kick start the economy with vigour. A comprehensive review of business taxes will follow, and these will be assessed for both stability and efficiency. President Hollande has also proposed an easy-access work permit for those moving to France with desirable CVs, valid for four years and known colloquially as a ‘talent visa’.


Tourism is a major industry in Paris, unsurprisingly, and business services, trade and commerce are other major employers alongside manufacturing. The public sector is responsible for a tenth of the jobs in Paris too, with health services, welfare and transport making up another 9% of all jobs. Hollande is committed to making it easier for new foreign businesses to get up and running, including a €25,000 grant and access to low-cost financing options. Import and export procedures are also set to become simpler and cheaper – another new policy sure to benefit manufacturing and international trade.

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Tax benefits

Double taxation agreements exist for expatriates living in Paris for less than 183 days a year and receiving their salary from a non-French company. If this might be you, you can be assured that you’ll pay tax at the rate of your home country to avoid being hit for tax once in France and once at home.