The sectors of activity in Nantes, the job market


Companies are particularly dynamic in the Loire Atlantique region. In 2020, nearly 11,000 companies were created. Nearly 60,000 companies will be located in Nantes in 2021. The sectors of activity in Nantes are diversified. The Loire-Atlantique is one of the most dynamic departments in France (+445,000 inhabitants between 2013 and 2050).

Interim Management is becoming more and more important in the Nantes job market. In order to have a high quality and quickly operational manager, Nantes companies are completing their recruitment process through the use of interim managers, which is a flexible and quick solution. The use of a transitional manger also allows a good control of the company’s costs while guaranteeing an objective intervention of a highly qualified external peer. A real asset for a dynamic and constantly evolving city such as Nantes.

1- The main sectors of activity in Nantes

3 main sectors are developing in terms of activity:

  • Digital

    Nantes has been awarded the French Tech Capital label. The French Tech Nantes brings together all the actors of the digital and innovative ecosystem in Nantes. It has nearly 3000 companies representing 30,000 jobs. French Tech Nantes has a strong ecosystem with Atlantic 2.0, La Cantine numérique,
    Connecting Place

  • Marine renewable energy (MRE)

    Marine renewable energy (MRE): many companies, including major industrial players such as GE, Chantiers de l’Atlantique, Naval Group, etc., are present in Nantes. The Loire Atlantique is the leading French industrial hub for MRE (offshore wind and tidal power)

  • Health and biotechnologies

    The Nantes area is a reference in this field, with many start-ups and research, training and care structures.

More precisely, here are the main sectors of activity present in the Nantes region:

  • Agri-food
  • Banks, insurance, financial services
  • Chemicals, plastics, packaging
  • Retail trade, large-scale distribution
  • Communication, marketing, information
  • Construction, building, public works
  • Culture, sports, leisure
  • Energy
  • Environment, recovery, sorting, recycling, waste or water treatment
  • Equipment, material for professional activities
  • Manufacturing, wholesale of articles for sale
  • Management, business administration
  • Real estate

2- Business sectors: focus on secondary education in Nantes

In Nantes, heavy industry has declined since the end of the 20th century, which has led to a tertiarization of its economy.

The secondary sector has been able to reinvent itself and remains present in the economic landscape of the city, which has become a leading figure in new technologies, agri-food, aeronautics and the wood industry.

that Nantes and Saint-Nazaire constitute, stands out for its innovation in cutting-edge sectors such as biotechnology, gene therapy and electronic subcontracting.

There are 4 state-approved competitiveness clusters in the agglomeration.

In Nantes, 8 out of 10 jobs are in the service sector (ICT, consulting firms, finance, etc.).

The Nantes – Saint Nazaire metropolis has a powerful shipbuilding activity, with Harmony of the Seas, the largest cruise ship in the world built by the STX group. There are also many production sites located in the Grand Port Maritime, the most important port on the Atlantic coast and 4th in France.

Another sector of activity: in the food industry, the cookie manufacturers Lu and BN, as well as the canning brands Cassegrain and Saupiquet, and the dairy group Eurial Poitouraine, are all major players in the city’s economy. Built in 1935, the Béghin-Say factory in Nantes (Tereos) is the last French cane sugar refinery.

3- Business sectors: focus on the service sector in Nantes

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Nantes is an important city for the financial sector. The city is home to many regional bank and insurance company headquarters. In the north of the city, the Chantrerie-Atlanpôle district has a large concentration of biotechnology and health activities.

ICT (Information and Communication Technologies) is a sector in which many companies in Nantes have specialized since 2000. Global IT and digital giants such as Capgemini, Bull and IBM can be found locally.

The tertiary sector is also composed of a leading tourist activity. Indeed, with 2 million visitors per year, the city is the 7th largest tourist destination in France. The Château des Ducs museum, the Machines de l’île and the Jules Vernes Museum are among the city’s main tourist sites. Soccer matches, or the famous classical music festival La Folle Journée de Nantes also contribute to the attractiveness of Nantes and this territory of the great west.

4- The job market in Nantes

Some useful addresses on the job market in Nantes:

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