Marseille's local economy is built around trade and export, which, alongside its excellent transport infrastructure, has led to it being called the most dynamic city in France by French financial magazine L'Expansion.
Its total GDP of 60.3 billion USD, or 36,127 USD per capita, comes mainly from its port, which contributes 4 billion EUR to the economy every year. With 100 million tons of cargo passing through it each year, the port is the largest in France and the fifth largest in Europe. Of the 100 million tons, around 60% is petroleum, with the rest a mixture of olive oil, food, chemicals, sugar, and building materials.
Another key element of the economy is its business sector, with many small businesses and multinational companies setting up in the city over the last decade, including CMA CGM, COMEX, and Eurocopter Group.
Tourism is important to the economy, and over two million passengers arrive in the city via its port each year. Marseille is also home to France's leading oil refinery.
Expatriates working in Marseille tend to work in senior management positions at the port, as English teachers in local schools, or for one of the technology businesses based within the city.
Expatriates working in Marseille may need a work permit, but this depends on your nationality. If you are a citizen of the European Union or the European Economic Area, you will not need a permit to work in Marseilles.
However, citizens from non-EU or non-EEA countries will need a work permit. Applying for the work permit in France can be difficult, as the government has introduced measures to curb the number of non-nationals working in the country.
You need to have already secured work in Marseille, and be able to demonstrate that the skills you are bringing to the city cannot be found elsewhere in the EU or EEA.
In most cases expatriates need to rely on their prospective employer to get the work permit for them, which can make the process easier. Either way, be patient when applying for your work permit, as it may take a long time to come through.
Expatriates working in Marseille are required to pay income tax by law. France has a progressive system, so the amount of income tax you pay increases with the amount you earn. The rates are as follows:
France does not have a PAYE system. This means that you are paid the whole amount of your salary, from which you must then pay your taxes yourself. In addition, social security taxes are included in income tax and will be charged separately.