Neither two hours from Paris, far from it, nor in the south of France, and even less by the sea: Clermont-Ferrand does not, at first glance, not have the attractive face of these metropolises celebrated for their influence. Worse, the news is not always very happy: at the beginning of December 2021, Michelin announced the elimination of 469 jobs on its various Clermont sites.
And yet, even though “The phenomena of heliotropism and coastal development promote the economic dynamism of the southern departments and the Atlantic coast”, the 2021 barometer of the attractiveness and resilience of French metropolises by Arthur Loyd ranks Clermont-Ferrand in third place for intermediate urban areas (between 200,000 and 500,000 inhabitants), behind Brest and Tours, ahead of Nancy, Nîmes , Reims, Dijon, etc. In its category, the Clermont-Ferrand agglomeration ranks first for economic performance and quality of life.
“The people of Clermont are often very critical of themselves, while those who are not from here tell us: ‘You don’t realize the joy of living in this region” ”, notes Claude Barbin, the president of the Puy-de-Dôme chamber of commerce and industry. “The justice of the peace is demography”, adds Dominique Adenot, elected PS of the city of Clermont-Ferrand and president of Grand Clermont. “Seeing the arrival of new households, that is worth all the surveys”, adds the one which targets 50,000 more inhabitants in the urban area (480,000 today) by 2030. From this point of view, growth is on the agenda. The twenty-one municipalities that make up Clermont Auvergne Métropole (280,000 inhabitants) see their population increase by 0.5% per year.
More unexpectedly, according to Arthur Loyd, the Clermont-Ferrand metropolis outclasses larger metropolises on the demographic level, such as Bordeaux, Toulouse, Aix-Marseille and is on a par with Rennes or Montpellier.
“We are still too dependent on Michelin”
The performance is largely due to the presence of Michelin, which has its departments in France, Europe and the rest of the world. With its 10,000 jobs, including 3,300 in its research and development center, the tire giant feeds an ecosystem that concentrates many highly qualified service jobs, as well as a significant university establishment and numerous research laboratories. This is what Arthur Loyd emphasizes. Clermont-Ferrand agglomeration “Shows good performance in the economy: the largest employment pool in its category, an unemployment rate of less than 7% and the highest share of managerial jobs”. “There is a very strong synergy between Michelin, but also Sanofi, Constellium and Limagrain, and our network of SMEs, observes Mr. Barbin. Our large companies are anchored in our territory, and they need to make it attractive in order to bring in employees. “
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