How mathematics is increasingly irrigating the economy

How mathematics is increasingly irrigating the economy

How mathematics is increasingly irrigating the economy

The use of mathematics is not limited to approximately 3,500 professionals, researchers and teacher-researchers in the laboratories.

“Save the math! “in March he had launched about thirty great French leaders in a column of the weekly Challenges, worried about the future of her business due to the negative effects of the high school reform in this discipline. This September 13, a study conducted by the National Institute of Mathematical Sciences and their interactions of the CNRS (Insmi) with the McKinsey company reminds us how justified this concern is since the French economy depends on mathematics. According to these experts, the proportion of salaried jobs whose main activity is related to mathematics represents 13% of positions, or 3.3 millions of people and 18% of GDP, or 381 billion euros, in 2019. This is more than double the tourism sector in France.

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It is that mathematics is not limited to about 3,500 professionals, researchers and teacher-researchers in the laboratories. They are practiced at varying intensity in sectors such as finance, the security of digital and banking transactions through cryptography, artificial intelligence, medical or satellite imagery, etc. This diversity also explains why the discipline of economic weight increases. In 2012, the latest figure from the previous 2015 study, 12% of jobs were related to mathematics and 16% of GDP. “This study shows how important mathematics is for society and business growth”recalls Christophe Besse, director of Insmi.

Hospital staff

This figure was obtained by the same method followed for an assessment of the United Kingdom in 2010, or the Netherlands in 2011 or France in 2012. It consists of the estimate for each profession “The weight of mathematics in their activity and training, and the type of mathematics used”then calculate the weighted sum for all employees and finally estimate the total added value of these jobs in the economy.

Professions such as accountant or financial manager of large companies, maintenance technician, logistics technician … have a weight of 100% (they use math every day), while others, like a hired architect, count for 50%, or 5% for category A hospital staff More precisely, 1.1 million people are “involved in the production and application of mathematical research” thanks to specialized professions, financial engineers, computer scientists, etc.

“This study should serve to alert policy makers and the world of industry to the situation” Stéphane Jaffard, professor

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