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Employment area: Cherbourg - Octeville

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6,510 establishments, 543 of which employ 10 or more salaried workers (4 with over 500).
73,792 jobs including 14,550 in industry

Sectors: Shipbuilding, energy, agrifood...
Companies: DCNS, AREVA, Maîtres Laitiers du Cotentin

The Cherbourg employment area: 1,834 km2
The area encompasses 213 communes and a population of 202,215 inhabitants (2009) for a density of 110 inhabitants per km2.


Total employment at 31/12/2005 was 73,792 jobs. The number of salaried workers in industry is 14,550 with an employment feminisation level of 18.8% and an average age of 39.7 years. Industrial share in employment: 21.4%.
The unemployment level at third term 2008 was 7.7%.
At 01/01/2006, the employment area included 6,510 establishments (704 in industry, 820 in construction, 1,927 in trading and repair and 3,059 in the services sector).
Breakdown of salaried employment by sector for firms employing over 20 salaried workers: 63% in energy, shipbuilding, minerals; 12% in mechanics; 9% in the agrifood industry; 4% in metallurgy; 3% in printing and publishing.
At the 1st of January 2005, there were 543 establishments employing 10 or more salaried workers. Four sites employ over 500 salaried workers.
Main sectors of activity.
- Warship construction, shipbuilding: The DCNS - Directorate for Naval Construction (construction of nuclear submarines),
CMN - Normandy Mechanical Construction (construction of speedboats and luxury yachts)...
- Production and processing of nuclear materials: EDF (French Electricity Board), AREVA (reprocessing of waste from nuclear
fuel plants), ANDRA (nuclear waste storage)…
- Sheet metal working for the nuclear industry: ACE; Ateliers de Construction du Petit Parc (construction yard)...
- Other sectors: Les Maîtres Laitiers du Cotentin (cheese manufacture), Sanmina France (manufacture of hertzian
transmission devices), Nestlé Mont Blanc (diary product manufacture), Mécachimie (manufacture of specialised machines),
Endel (general mechanics)…


In the Cotentin peninsula, industry has begun a spectacular upturn. Cherbourg's strong point; the construction of warships: job losses at the DCNS (Directorate for Naval Construction), together with job creation at CMN (Normandy Mechanical Construction) following diversification towards the « luxury » sailing market. The North Cotentin's other industrial mainstay, the energy sector, is solidly established. The construction of the first EPR (European Pressurised Reactor) in Flamanville promises major employment prospects from 2007 to 2012 which should compensate for DCNS job losses. Both sectors generate an important demand among subcontracting suppliers, hence providing an economic driving force for the entire Cotentin peninsula: mechanics, metallurgy and equipment for nuclear power plants all play a major role in the area's employment market. The agrifood and electronics industries are further important industrial sectors for the Cotentin area. The former remains, however, less developed in the vicinity of Cherbourg than throughout the rest of the Normandy region, due to lack of diversification. Neither seafood nor vegetable production are processed on site. In the Cotentin peninsula, the agrifood industry concentrates essentially on dairy produce with the Nestlé factory and, in particular the Maîtres Laitiers du Cotentin, Normandy's largest industrial cheese manufacturer.

  • Port de Cherbourg
  • DCN
  • Bateau de pêche au quai