— Published 22 September 2023

Paris 2024, a giant with 181,000 jobs

Let there be no mistake: with less than a year to go, and the countdown clock ticking down to 300 days at the end of next week, the Paris 2024 Games are still recruiting. They are recruiting everywhere, in every direction. Massively, without holding back. And the trend is not about to reverse.

In 2019, five years ahead of the Olympic and Paralympic Games, a study by the Centre de droit et d’économie du sport de Limoges (CDES) produced an initial figure for the job prospects generated by the Paris 2024 Games. It already looked good: 150,000 jobs, the vast majority of which would be created.

Four years later, a new context and a rapidly changing situation have led the CDES to review its work. The latest version of its map, unveiled by Christophe Lepetit, its director of studies, shows a significant increase: 181,000 jobs in the construction, events and tourism sectors. Proof that the OCOG’s budget is not the only one to rise since the health crisis.

The first phase concerned building and construction. In all, some 30,000 jobs were created, mainly by SOLIDEO – the public body in charge of the new permanent sites – and its contractors. “This first phase is now behind us, explains Christophe Lepetit. We are now entering phase 2, with the staffing needs ahead of us. Recruitment will ramp up over the coming weeks and months, as employers aim to be ready by spring 2024.

Two sectors dominate the market: Games organisation, with 89,300 jobs (OCOG, partners, service providers and suppliers), and tourism (61,800 jobs). In detail, catering comes out on top, with human needs exceeding 40,000 people, ahead of private security (26,000, including 22,000 for the OCOG alone), marketing (13,000) and logistics (10,000).

A massive challenge. And not a foregone conclusion in a job market where certain key sectors, including hotels, catering and security, are already struggling to recruit. But the big manoeuvres are being prepared. On Tuesday 26 September, Paris 2024 and around fifty companies are organising a jobs forum at the Cité du Cinéma in Saint-Denis, at the heart of the future athletes’ village. No fewer than 16,000 jobs are at stake.

The OCOG leads by example. Since its creation in January 2018, the Organising Committee has expanded its workforce without ever really trying to force the pace. It now has 1,700 employees. But the wave is set to grow. There will be 2,000 at the end of the year, then twice that number next June, as the final sprint gets underway.

It’s easy to calculate: the OCOG will have to take on as many new employees in six months, during the first half of 2024, as it did in the first five years of its existence. Skills most in demand: customer relations, analysis and reporting, technical coordination, management of service providers, foreign language skills. On Tuesday 26 September, the OCOG could recruit a solid contingent of new employees in a single day.

Unsurprisingly, the Organising Committee’s partners are among the most aggressive in the job market. Examples include Sodexo Live! and RATP.

The first of the two, in charge of catering in the village and on the competition sites, is advertising 6,000 vacancies, more than half of which (60%) do not require any technical qualifications. Reception, cooking, management, logistics… The range is wide. The vast majority of these jobs (85%) will be new positions, with the remainder filled by company employees seconded to the Games. Recruitment is starting now. It will continue until spring 2024.

RATP has moved the cursor up a few notches. It has listed 6,600 jobs to be filled by 2023, including 4,900 on permanent contracts (1,000 on sandwich courses and 700 on integration contracts). The top jobs in demand are bus and metro drivers, station agents, security and maintenance staff. Around two-thirds of the recruitment plan has already been completed. For 2024, the trend looks set to be the same.