Swiss labor market booms

Seco Arbeitslosenquote Firmen Schweiz Arbeitskräfte Mangel
Switzerland has a shortage of workers. (Image: Ümit Yildirim / unsplash)

Switzerland is desperately looking for workers. The statistics even show effects that were never thought possible.

In September, Switzerland’s unemployment rate fell by 0.1 percent from the previous month to 1.9 percent. In the regional unemployment centers, called REOs, only just 90,000 people were enrolled, the State Secretariat for Economic Affairs (Seco) announced in a Communiqué on Friday.

Compared to the previous month, about 2,000 fewer unemployed were registered. Compared to the same month last year, unemployment even fell by about 25 percent, which corresponds to a decrease of about 30,000 people.

Incorrect profiles

The number of vacancies registered with the REOs increased by 1,580 to 69,842 in September. Of these jobs, 55,840 were subject to mandatory reporting. It would therefore be quite possible to reduce unemployment even further.

The question here is whether the profiles sought match the needs of the companies. Often this is not the case, which is why there is always a certain level of unemployment in a country.

Historic levels

However, unemployment has not been this low in Switzerland for decades. Even looking at the nationalities involved, amazing things are happening. Of the 90,000 people, roughly speaking, about half are Swiss and half are foreigners.

Among the Swiss, the unemployment rate fell to a low 1.4 percent in September. Normally, that figure hovers around 2 percent.

And among foreigners, where the rate is usually around 5 percent, it systematically dropped over the course of the year to a mere 3.3 percent.

Ukraine as problem

Among the EU countries, Bulgaria and Poland were at the ‘top of the list’ in terms of those affected. Their unemployment rates were 5.7 and 4.0 percent respectively.

Among the non-EU countries, Turkey with 5.1 percent and Kosovo with 4.8 percent topped the list. It should also be remembered that, according to the Seco figures, the Ukrainian group is still affected by unemployment at almost 30 percent.

If the refugee crisis were eliminated, the overall figures for Switzerland would be even better. But still, companies simply can’t find staff.


Swiss labor market booms

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