Jean-Luc Boujon (in Lyon) / Photo credits: PASCAL GUYOT / AFP 07:57, September 14, 2023

The construction sector, which has been hit hard by the new construction crisis, anticipates the loss of 150,000 jobs by 2025. A recession, in sight, mainly due to the crisis in the construction of new housing. Illustration in a masonry company in Lyon.

"When the building goes, everything goes" it is often said. But conversely, we can worry when the construction sector starts to slow down. And this is unfortunately the case today. The French Building Federation announced Wednesday gloomy prospects for the sector in the coming months with a possible elimination of 150,000 jobs by 2025. Europe 1 went to a masonry company in Lyon.

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"The year is likely to be very complicated"

Created 60 years ago, the Fontanel group and its 300 employees, is one of the major masonry companies in the Lyon region. The company has already gone through several crises but this time, the prospects are very worrying, says Norbert Fontanel, its president. "When I see developers laying off, architects laying off, design offices laying off... They don't come out of projects anymore. This means that there is less work upstream, so it is work that we will not do in 2024. The year is likely to be very complicated," he said.

"A company like ours has to open two projects a month so, basically, we have to have 12-15 in front of us to be serene. Today, we only have seven or eight. We're worried," he adds.

The Fontanel group tries to relocate

In question, the crisis of new housing. Households are finding it increasingly difficult to buy, strangled by rising interest rates or the end of the Pinel scheme. The entire construction sector is weakening and fears about employment are being felt. "It is clear that we will employ fewer temporary workers. And we will also use our subcontractors less since we will not have the work. So, yes, there can be breakage," continues Norbert Fontanel.

It is to avoid this that Groupe Fontanel, which until then concentrated its activities on Lyon and its region, is now applying for more distant sites, in Roanne or Clermont-Ferrand.