Marseille is a dynamic and competitive French city, with a natural gateway to the Mediterranean Sea. Economic development in Marseille is characterised by robust growth in cutting-edge industries and business clusters. In general, Marseille's economy relies on the services sector (81% of GVA in 2016) with 83% of all jobs in 2016. However, despite a 3.8% labour productivity advantage over the rest of the country, this does not result in higher disposable incomes in Marseille.
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Marseille performs relatively well in terms of labour productivity, despite the boost Paris gives to the rest of France. GVA per employee was 3.8% higher in Marseille than in the rest of the country in 2016. The city derives a large part of its economic strength from its port, which is the largest in France, as well as export and tourism activities.
A very small premium in labour productivity in Marseille over the rest of France does not result in greater levels of disposable income in the city. Disposable incomes were 3.3% lower in Marseille compared to the rest of the country in 2016. A decreasing share of GVA arising from high value-added sectors, such as business services, and a larger proportion of GVA coming from manufacturing contribute to these results.
Consumer expenditure per household (excluding transport and housing) in Marseille was smaller compared to the rest of France (-3.5% in 2016). Given lower disposable incomes in the city, households show a greater preference for basic necessities, such as food and non-alcoholic beverages (+2.1% in absolute spending).
Expenditure on transport and housing per household was 0.4% higher in Marseille than in the rest of France in 2016. The main constraint on the city's affordability is more pronounced spending on housing, which accounts for the largest share of total consumer spending in the city. Meanwhile, public transport in Marseille is underdeveloped, and a much smaller proportion of people use it compared to Paris or Lyon.