General economic situation in Moselle


Statistics based on 2012-2013 figures

One of Moselle’s main assets is its strategic cross-border geographical position.

Population density

  • Moselle is the most densely populated department in Lorraine.
  • Its 1,045,066 inhabitants account for
  • 44.45% of the Lorraine region
  • 1.62% of the French population
  • Moselle is the 20th most densely populated department in France
  • Lorraine is the 11th most densely populated region in France.

Working in Moselle

  • There are 460,800 workers in Lorraine and
  • 212,400 workers in Moselle
  • (These figures do not include salaried workers in the agricultural and sales sectors nor people working for private individuals).
  • There were more than 101,000 cross-border workers in Lorraine in 2011, which accounts for 9.2% of the active population in Lorraine.

Unemployment in Lorraine

  • During the fourth semester of 2012, the unemployment rate reached
  • 10.5% in Moselle
  • 10.7% in Lorraine
  • 10.2% in France

The economic panorama of the department

There were 29,188 registered businesses which employed 186,864 workers in Moselle on  03/01/13.

Regional distribution of businesses and workers according to the various districts in Moselle

  • Boulay : 1,803 businesses employing 6.18 % of all workers in Moselle
  • Château-Salins : 684 businesses employing 2.34% of all workers in Moselle
  • Forbach : 4,206 businesses employing 14.41% of all workers in Moselle
  • Metz Campagne : 7,044 businesses employing 24.13% of all workers in Moselle
  • Metz Ville : 5,054 businesses employing 17.32% of all workers in Moselle
  • Sarrebourg : 1,737 businesses employing 5.95% of all workers in Moselle
  • Sarreguemines : 2,926 businesses employing 10.02% of all workers in Moselle
  • Thionville Est : 3,336 businesses employing 11.53% of all workers in Moselle
  • Thionville Ouest : 2,368 businesses employing 8.11% of all workers in Moselle

Distribution according to sectors of activity

  • Industry : 8%
  • Construction : 12%
  • Trade : 40%
  • Service industry : 40%

Businesses employing less than 100 workers : 99.18% of all businesses and 61.64% of all workers

Businesses employing more than 100 workers : 0.82% of all businesses and 39.36% of all workers

Developing industries in Moselle are:

  • the automobile industry,
  • the plasturgy industry,
  • the construction industry,
  • the metallurgy industry,
  • the chemistry industry,
  • the food industry,
  • the energy and environment industry,
  • the logistics industry.


  • Trade is a driving force in Moselle.
  • 11600 businesses, that is 40% of all companies in Moselle, hire 53700 workers in this sector.
  • The retail industry generated a turnover of 5.4 billion Euros.
  • There is a proportion of 1,280m² of sales surface for 1000 inhabitants – the national average proportion being 920m² for 1000 inhabitants.
  • E-commerce generated 261 million Euros.

Sustainable development

  • Moselle has all the necessary tools to improve its sustainable development strategy.
  • This department is a densely urbanized area which has a strong industrial past.
  • Artificial areas account for 10% of the Moselle district while the average proportion in France is 6 %.
  • 1.3% of the territory is used to develop industrial or trading areas which is higher than the 0.7% proportion in Lorraine as well as in France.
  • The rate of greenhouse gas emissions in Moselle is very high. An average Moselle inhabitant is said to produce 24 tons of CO2 emissions whereas national statistics show that an average French person produces 9.8 tons.
  • Inhabitants in Lorraine consume the highest rate of energy compared to all other regions in France; this is due to the industrial development of the area, its climate as well as energy-guzzling households.

Training – Teaching – Research & Development – Innovation.

There are 75,341 post A-Level students in Moselle and they account for 3.2% of all French students

The University of Lorraine includes many renowned schools such as:

  • ENIM, école nationale d’Ingénieurs de Metz – national engineering school ;
  • Arts et Métiers ParisTech, école nationale supérieure des arts et Métiers – school of Art and Craft industry ;
  • ESITC, école supérieure d’Ingénieurs des Travaux de la Construction – Engineering school  specialising in the construction sector ;
  • SUPELEC, école supérieure d’Electricité – Engineering school specialising in the electricity sector ;
  • Georgia Tech-lorraine, European campus of the Georgia Institute of Technology Atlanta ;
  • ESAMM, école supérieure d’art de Metz Métropole – school of arts ;
  • IRA, Institut Régional d’administration –  business administration school.

However, the 2010 figures show that efforts have to be made in the field of Research and Development in Lorraine.

The proportion of the GDP devoted to Research and Development amounts to 1,2% in Lorraine while the overall percentage in France is 2,3%.

3 main groups of development enable Moselle to increase its competitiveness :

  • Pôle FIBRES Grand Est ;
  • Pôle HYDREOS.

Tourism and Culture

  • Tourism proves to be a reliable source of economic success.
  • This industry represents 4.8% of all salaried positions (state salaried positions not included) in Moselle which means more than traditional sectors such as metallurgy or chemistry.
  • Tourism is a sector that employs 14,500 workers in Moselle.
  • There are 151 hotels in Moselle.
  • 1,465,120 nights in hotel rooms were booked during the year 2010;
  • 11,600 hotel beds are available to visitors.

The main proportions of visitors coming from foreign countries are the following:

  • France: 80.3 %
  • foreign countries: 19.7 %
  • Germany: 4.1 %
  • Belgium: 2.8 %
  • United Kingdom: 2.6 %
  • Netherlands: 2.6 %

External trade

  • Germany is Moselle’s foremost trading partner.
  • Overall French exports kept on increasing in 2012; however Lorraine’s decreased by 1,4% with 17,784,000 € and accounting for 4.1% of all French exports while Moselle’s exports increased by 2.6%.
  • The proportion of exports in Moselle improved from 63.4% of exports in Lorraine in 2011 to 64.9% in 2012.
  • Lorraine is the 3rd most important exporting region in the French trade balance.
  • There are 8564 exporting businesses in Lorraine, three quarters of them employ less than 250 workers and they account for less than 30% of all exportations.
  • In 2012, Lorraine’s trade balance increased by 38,5% and Moselle’s by 2,2 billion euros.
  • About 82% of regional exports are delivered to European countries and Lorraine’s main customer is Germany where 1/3 of its exports are delivered.

The extended region and its infrastructures

  • The extended region is made up of 11.4 million inhabitants.
  • It has a strategic geographical situation as it is close to 3 large regional centres – Brussels, Strasbourg and Luxembourg – where European institutions have their headquarters.
  • The area is considered as a very important international financial centre.
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