The Rhône-Alpes GDP is evaluated at €206.8 m. in 2013 (Eurostats). Between 2009 and 2013, the Rhône-Alpes GDP grew from 10,96%. Accounting for 10% of the national GDP, the region is - after the Île-de-France Region (30.4% of the GDP) - the most important contributor.
Being the second French region in terms of economic and geographic size, Rhône-Alpes is also the second region in terms of population. It hosts approximately 10% of the French population (2014) and concentrates about 10.1% of the total employment between 2009 and 2013. The regional unemployment rate is lower than the national one (8.7% versus. 10.3% in 2014), however it has been increasing since 2010 of 0,60 points, which is slightly lower than the +1.8% on average, which is slightly more than the national trend with 1.0% over the same period (Eurostat, 2014).
The service sector employs 72.3% of the labour force (2014), compared to an average of 74% at the national level. The service sector contributes to more than 50% of the regional gross value-added. The industrial sector also remains important (including construction) - it concentrates 24.6% of the regional employment, compared to 23% at national level (Corse excepted, Eurostat, 2014). Rhône-Alpes is the first French region for energy production as a whole, and has the leadership in particular for nuclear and renewable energies (INSEE). The agricultural sector accounts for 2.7% of the regional employment in 2013, which is slightly lower than the rate for France (3.69% for the antional average, Corse excepted).
The strengths of the region, as listed in the RIS-3, are: a highly industrialised region, ranking, regional competences on Key Enabling Technologies (KET’s), good figures for the creation of innovative enterprises, a good export dynamique with 1 out of 3 jobs related to international exchanges and exports, several mechanisms to fund innovation, a pioneering region for the organisation by economic sector through clusters, an important share of employment in advanced manufacturies.
The weaknesses, however, are: too few medium-sized enterprises, low private R&D expenditures GDP (1.7% of GDP), low patent applications compared to academic potential and value creation, too few spin-off companies coming from public research, R&D projects not sufficiently market-oriented, low participation to European framework programs compared to the region Ile de France or Provence-Alpes-Côte d’Azur, limited exchanges with international regions with high-growth potential (BRICS).