Jobs, jobs and jobs again

Luxusuhr vom Schweizer Hersteller Rolex
Business is booming at luxury watchmaker Rolex. (Image: A. Trivet / pixabay)

The Swiss economy is booming and demand for labor remains high. But some companies stand out negatively.

With few exceptions, Swiss companies know almost only one problem. That is their desperate search for workers.

Starting from small companies, even the startups, up to large corporations, all  would like to hire staff but there are hardly any people.

Boom at Rolex

The showcase example is the premium airline Swiss, which plans to hire over 1,000 new employees. But other companies also announced new hirings, as the “SonntagsZeitung” reported, citing a survey of 90 corporations.

For example, the Geneva-based luxury watch brand Rolex is planning a significant increase in jobs because the demand for its luxury watches is so enormous that the group will have to significantly expand its production around luxury timepieces.

This is likely to be analogous for other manufacturers of jewelry and luxury watches, such as Richemont, Patek Philippe, Audemars Piguet & Co. They, too, report rising demand.

Good news for the New Year

According to the paper’s survey, a total of 34 companies want to expand their number of jobs. This is optimistically the case for almost 40 percent of the largest Swiss employers. The vast majority of companies expect the number of jobs to remain stable.

This is good news right at the start of the year and it’s in line with the assessment of the Swiss economy, which also reported on at the end of 2022. Even the unemployment rate is negligible at just about two percent.

The economy is booming and the trend toward part-time employment is also causing demand for labor to rise sharply.

Job killer big banks

Only four companies were about to cut staff, the “SonntagsZeitung” survey said.

Among the job killers of the country are the big banks – Credit Suisse and UBS. There, however, the problems are rather homemade. On the one hand, the financial services providers have almost completely slept through digitization, resting on their successful business of the past. And on the other hand, the banking habits of their customers are rapidly changing.

The financial institutions now have to make adjustments in this regard and ultimately manage that with significantly fewer staff.

Every year

And then, in addition to the big banks, pharmaceutical group Novartis is once again cutting jobs in Switzerland. But hardly anyone really takes this seriously anymore, because the Basel-based company has been cutting jobs in this country again and again for years, but then usually re-establishes jobs in more favorable locations.

This circus has now become standard procedure for Novartis employees. The pressure on employees is probably meant to be kept high, instilling them with the fear of losing their jobs.

Ultimately, however, the company has to come up with good products, and in the pharmaceutical world, these cannot simply be conjured out of a hat.

Silent luxury

As research by has shown, job cuts at Novartis always proceed very charmingly and thus silently. First, those affected are told well in advance that they will probably receive advance notice in the next half to three quarters of the year.

And even after an actual notice of termination is issued, they still have a long period of time before they actually leave the company, company sources say.

Qualified employees leave

With this approach, Novartis seems to hope that those affected will start looking for new employment on their own and that the job cuts for the pharmaceutical company in Switzerland will virtually take care of themselves.

Instead of sitting around bored waiting for the end to come, well-qualified employees often take the reins themselves.

360 jobs across the Rhine

The chances are good for Novartis that this approach will work.

As the saying goes among employees in the Basel pharmaceutical industry: “Then I’ll just go across the Rhine,” meaning in this case the way to the other pharmaceutical top dog, Roche.

There at Roche, more than 360 jobs alone are currently advertised with the keyword ‘Basel’.


Jobs, jobs and jobs again

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