The labor market in the Basque Country

Le Pays Basque not only has a vibrant and rich culture, but also a thriving and ever-changing economy. The French part of the Basque Country has more than 36 companies in a variety of ever-changing industries.


Predominant Basque economic activities



With its stunning landscapes, rich culture and spa resorts, the Pays Basque attracts tourists throughout the year. The tourist industry is mainly concentrated in Labourd thanks to its charming coastal towns, but it is gradually developing further inland.

While the public health crisis has certainly had an impact on the local tourism industry, the Basque Country has one of the lowest unemployment rates in the region thanks to its involvement in several different economic sectors.


Food industry

Le Pays Basque is known for its quality food products certified AOP, IGP or Label Rouge. Its rich heritage associated with mountainous areas, coastline, grasslands and woodlands facilitates the production of world-class goods.

According to INSEE, this sector has more than 5 companies.

The most notable Basque food industries include:

  • Espelette pepper
  • black cherry jam
  • Sheep's dairy products
  • Ham
  • Fish and seafood
  • Chocolat



The Basque Country is home to some major aircraft manufacturers, creating a total of around 4 jobs.

The largest aeronautical companies in the Basque Country:

  • Dassault Aviation, based in Anglet, is a French aerospace company that designs and builds military aircraft, business jets and space systems.
  • Safran (formerly Turbomeca) in Bordes is a manufacturer of low and medium power gas turbine turbine engines for helicopters. The company also produces gas turbines for aircraft and missiles, as well as turbines for land, industrial and marine applications.



With such a large local seafood industry providing products that require refrigerated transportation, it's no surprise that companies are facilitating the efficient movement of perishables.

olano is a large refrigerated goods transport company based in Saint Jean de Luz and employs over 2 people.


Surfing + Skateboarding

Le Pays Basque is a major hub of the surfing industry due to its proximity to world-class waves. Quiksilver is the world leader in clothing for the outdoor and board sports markets. They create and distribute products under three main brands, Quiksilver, Roxy and DC. Located in Saint Jean de Luz and created in 1984, the headquarters of Quiksilver Europe in Saint Jean de Luz houses all operational and administrative staff.

Quiksilver is not the only big board sports company in the Basque Country. Volcom has offices in Anglet, and there are many growing companies in the Basque Country, such as Panther Surfboards. When it comes to local clothing companies influenced by the rugged environment and the surf industry, the brand 64 is the most remarkable.


The construction industry works wherever there are people and the Basque Country is no different. This industry is expected to grow exponentially as more and more families decide to relocate to the Basque Country.

The construction industry in the Basque Country is by far the largest industry, with 10 jobs and 000 companies.


Emerging economic sectors


The Basque country's wide range of high-quality and world-renowned products is attracting non-local buyers who order online, more than ever due to the crisis. Berets and makhilas are just a few examples of these unique products which are highly regarded internationally. Prince Albert II of Monaco even ordered his own Basque makhila.


Remote work

As remote working becomes more and more common, more and more people are moving to places with a higher quality of life. The Basque Country is one of those places, and newcomers work for companies around the world. Thanks to an influx of new inhabitants who have purchasing power, local businesses are essential benefactors.


Digital start-ups

Since almost every business these days has to have a respectable online presence, many web based businesses have sprung up all over the Basque Country and anywhere else people actually want to live because this work can be done. from a distance. Think about SEO, internet advertising, website design, etc.


High-end take-out

With restaurants closed and locals bon vivant, many restaurants stay afloat and offer gourmet take-out menus at reasonable prices made up of excellent produce. EPOQ in Biarritz is an example. Trallalla is a new pizzeria from Anglet that uses 100% Italian ingredients.

One of the best values ​​in the whole Basque Country would be At Benat. This family hotel / restaurant offers a take-away menu (starter, main course, dessert) all for € 14. The products are of high quality and everything is homemade.



Do you want to invest in living and working in the Basque Country? Our team at O'Plus Immobilier will be happy to answer all your questions and guide you throughout your journey. If you are in the area be sure to drop by and say hello! You can also consult the O'Plus flea market, one of the largest and most diverse flea markets in the Basque Country where our offices are located.