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Switzerland Sees Slow Job Growth Ahead

Posted on 02 November 2008 by ThomasP

According to diverse institutes and Swiss research centers, Switzerland will enter recession in 2009. The Créa – a macroeconomic institute based in Lausanne — is predicting growth of –0.6% for 2009. The Créa analyzed the deceleration of the economies in the USS and continental Europe and concluded that if emerging economies have so far avoided the consequences of the global financial crisis, they will not continue to do so for long.

Their opinions are not unanimously shared. The BAK and the KOF are predicting anemic growth of .7% and .3% respectively. The Seco – the federal government’s organism – has predicted growth of ‘less than 1%’. Credit Suisse analysts are predicting growth of roughly 1%, and UBS analysts say that growth in Switzerland in 2009 will be roughly 0.2%. (Whatever growth there may be, all commentators agree that is unlikely that UBS will contribute anything to it.)

The Swiss economy will take a big hit in 2009, say analysts, due to strong drops in exports, as well as to the inexorable rise of the Swiss franc, as flight from less fiscally reliable currencies creates a run up in the national currency. The decline in exports and the ensuing decline in company order Seco Building Switzerland

books is likely to result in more unemployment and less consumer spending, meaning that jobs in Switzerland may be fewer and work may be less well paid.

Pundits say that the economy will not return to health until 2010, when growth is expected to rise above 0.5% and job growth should recur (the BAK predicts 1.7% growth for 2010). The optimism for 2010 is partly attributed to the Swiss Federal Government’s generous gift of more than $60 billion of public money to UBS, to stave off their bankruptcy and prop up their ledgers, in return for which the public will have a claim on just under 10% of the Bank’s stock should they return to health.
Economists and commentators are deducing that if the Federal Government is willing to hand over in cash about 20% of the entire market capitalization of UBS in return for 10% of the stock, this must mean that Swiss government is willing to spend prodigally to get the country out of the crisis.

The other signs that are encouraging analysts is the real estate market, which has so far been largely spared of a large speculative bubble, and Swiss industry.
The same analysts now conclude that the financial sector, which previously provided a large percentage of work in Switzerland, will decline to roughly 2% of Swiss jobs by the end of next year. For the Lausanne – Geneva axis, the BAK predicts a growth of 1.9% this year and 0.7% in 2009. According to the same analysts, jobs in the luxury watch industry will continue to grow due to new demand from emerging economies, though the growth will be less dramatic than the double digit growth experienced over the preceding years.

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Tags: Basel, careers, employment, jobs, novartis, Pharmaceutical, switzerland, work

Novartis has record profitability – more jobs in Basel

Posted on 25 October 2008 by Hans-T

Outside of the banks and finance companies, there are many sectors of the Swiss economy that are only minimally affected by the financial crisis and continue to show a growth of jobs in Switzerland.

Consider the case of Swiss pharmaceutical giant Novartis, based in Basel. A Spokesperson for Novartis said this week that Novartis has no exposure whatever to insolvent financial institutions. The group’s figures for the first three quarters show a 12% increase in profitability over last year for a total of $31.4 billion, and a net profit of $7.25 billion. Novartis’ profitability rose by 19% compared to the same period last years, with the 3rd quarter’s results 32% higher over last year’s. Most of the Swiss employment provided by Novartis are jobs in Basel.

The pharmaceutical giant owes its resplendent financial fortunes to the effects of change as well as its global restructuring, in which more than 2500 jobs (mainly outside of Switzerland) were eliminated worldwide.

The multinational drug company, which contributes to the considerable amount of research and engineering work in Basel, has recently been launching an array of new medicines to counter the pressures from the increasing number of generic drugs competing with established Jobs in Basel - Pharmaceuticals - Novartis

pharmaceutical products. Over the last 9 months alone Novartis launched nearly 100 new drugs to offset the losses expected from generics competing with established patented medicines such as Diovan (for hypertension) which by itself is responsible for $5 billion in sales. Nonetheless, analysts say it will not be before 2010 that these new products will reach their full sales potentials. The increased revenue is expected to feed demand for increased research and development work in Switzerland.

Jobs in Basel - PharmaceuticalsAcross the Atlantic, where like its competitors, Novartis got the green light from the American FDA, sales have declined a modest 4%. But Novartis has offset these modest declines with huge gains in emerging economies (+17%) as well as in Europe where sales are up 7%.

Analysts have expressed a bullish attitude on Novartis, noteworthy especially in this period of market turbulence, and continue to recommend buying Novartis stock, considered to be a strong long term investment. Wegelin bank analysts say the stock is a ‘sure value,’ and some analysts see the stock rising above CHF 70.

For Basel, Novartis continues to provide a large number of jobs in Basel and to contribute substantially to tax revenues.

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Tags: Add new tag, Economy, Geneva, jobs, remuneration, Salaries, switzerland, work

Geneva has disproportionate numbers of jobs in Switzerland

Posted on 14 October 2008 by ThomasP

The canton of Geneva occupies 0.6% of the surface area of Switzerland but employs roughly 8% of the salaried Work force in Switzerland and is responsible for a gross product of roughly $ 35 billion, roughly 8% of the Swiss GDP.

As to jobs, Geneva has practically a world record with approximately 2 jobs for three inhabitants (For a total population of about 450,000 there are 297,000 Jobs in Geneva). There are also roughly 75,000 cross border workers who work in Switzerland but live in neighboring France or Germany or Italy.

According to the Geneva Cantonal Bank’s statistics, the average salary in Geneva has continued to rise. During the 90’s, Geneva salaries were less than those in Zurich. However salaries in Geneva have now outstripped salaries in Zurich, with the average salary in Geneva now roughly CHF 6350, approximately 15% higher than the Swiss average, and about CHF 100 higher than Zurich’s average. The high average salaries for jobs in Geneva is largely explainable by the Jobs in Geneva Switzerland

high proportion of jobs in private banks, jobs in trading companies, and jobs in the financial services industries, all of which pull the salary statistics higher. Roughly 10% of workers in Geneva have salaries higher than CHF 12,400 per month.

Geneva is also the canton with the most glaring discrepancies between high salaries and low salaries.

In Geneva 85% of the small and medium size companies employ fewer than 10 persons. But over a third of the corporate landscape in Geneva (measured by number of jobs) is large multinational companies. Among the large employers of Geneva are the banks – UBS, Credit Suisse, BNP Paribas, HSBC, Pictet, Lombard Odier Darier Hentsch, Deutsche Bank,… – and then there are the luxury brands, and other multinationals, such as Rolex (4000 jobs), Proctor and Gamble (2500 jobs), Firmenich (1600 jobs), The Richemont Group (1400 jobs), Patek Philippe (1200 jobs), Merck Serono (1000 jobs), Givaudan (800 jobs), Chopard (700 jobs), Japan Tobacco (600 jobs), Franck Muller(600 jobs) and Du Pont(600 jobs).

The luxury watch industry alone brings in over $1 billion in annual revue to the canton of Geneva.

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Scarcity of Qualified Personnel for Jobs in Switzerland

Posted on 08 October 2008 by Hans-T

The demographics of the labor force are creating clouds on the horizon of work in Switzerland. In Switzerland a professional’s CV tend to peak at around 40 years old. Yet the demographic trend is increasingly toward and aging of the population.

At the Human Resources Congress in Berne, the demographic challenge was discussed and was one of the main debate themes of the meeting, which took place in Kursaal in late September and had over 500 attendees.

The lack of experts, specialists, and highly qualified personnel is an increasingly thorny problem in Switzerland, which has over the past few years opened up its once-closed labor market to the European Community. Despite the inflow of top professionals from neighboring France, from the UK, from Germany and Italy, and even from some of the Eastern European countries, Switzerland remains understaffed.

The management of several major personnel agencies have recently Swiss Recruitment Website - Jobs in Switzerland

remarked that the developing recession with bring a much needed respite to the labor shortage in Switzerland by slowing demand somewhat.

Currently, the penury of qualified workers in Switzerland is strongly felt in certain key professions such as specialists in I.T. / information technologies and engineering and technology experts. But demographics is not yet the cause. Other forces are in play, such as the decrease in desirability of certain trades and professions. According to the current thinking here, along with access to natural resources, access to the best human resources will be key to assuring one’s success in the global marketplace.

Human Resources officers in Switzerland say that the balance of power has shifted. Over the last decade, the tendency has been for employers to dictate their conditions on the labor market. But now the trend of work in Switzerland is for qualified specialists and experts to choose the position they want.

Switzerland has always looked abroad to satisfy its labor shortages but will not be able to do so as easily going forward. Other European countries such as Denmark, Norway, and the Netherlands are also becoming attractive to top professionals.

At this writing, the government in Berne claims that Switzerland is lacking several thousand engineers, for whom jobs in Switzerland are waiting. At the same time, in Germany, the figure is close to 40,000 jobs.

The recruitment niches of the future are women and the elderly. There is also debate about pushing further out the retirement age. Seven out of ten workers in Switzerland are active between 50 and 64 years old. The proportion goes down steeply after age 60.

There is a culture in Switzerland of early retirement, which started in the age of restructurings, and which is no longer relevant to current labor force realities.

The trend now is for companies to make themselves as attractive as possible to top professionals, managers, specialists and innovators in order to more successfully compete for the top workers in Switzerland.

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Jobs in Switzerland Demand Longer Commuting Time

Posted on 05 September 2008 by Mr Bureau

The lives of businessmen at work in Switzerland are no longer as simple as they once were. Between rushing to the airport, plane travel, long taxi rides, endless meetings and business lunches, career executives and businessmen in Switzerland must increasingly hunt for time to accomplish their basic daily tasks like reading their email, making phone calls and negotiating contracts.

According to analysts, the number of nomadic workers traveling internationally will rise from 800,000,000 currently to over a billion in 2011.

Switzerland has not escaped the trend toward increasing travel requirements in the workplace: the number of workers in Switzerland taking flights from Swiss airports has gone up roughly 10% between 2006 and 2007 to reach almost 16 million travelers. While a part of this traffic is simple tourism, the large part is comprised of business travelers.

The phenomenon of increasingly travel as a component of work in Switzerland has resulted in a greater levels of stress among the executives and professionals working in Switzerland. Specialized centers are cropping up to cater to the need among traveling workers to release this accumulated stress.

The Worldwide rent-an-office chain Regus has noted that businessmen are increasingly pressed to accomplish their tasks in increasingly unfavorable conditions. One common sign of this is the businessman with his laptop computer posed on his knees in the middle of an airport departure lounge or frenetic telephone calls made from rushing taxis.

The employment market in Switzerland is international, with Zurich, Geneva, Basel, and Lausanne home to many large multinational companies. Cities such as Geneva have been chosen as European or occasionally world headquarters by many Fortune 500 companies.

Despite the turmoil on global financial markets and the slowdown in the European economies, with the resulting increase in joblessness, Switzerland’s has economy has so far remained robust with very low unemployment and booming luxury industries, private banking, and technology sectors.

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Living in France, Italy, or Germany, but Working in Switzerland

Posted on 15 August 2008 by Hans-T

The workforce of commuting workers who live in neighboring France, Germany, Italy, or Austria but work in Switzerland has grown by nearly 30% over the past 5 years.

There are currently nearly 250,000 foreigners working in Switzerland and living across the border in one of Switizerland’s neighboring countries.

In only the past year, the number of border workers with jobs in Switzerland has risen roughly 6%. Foreigners working in Switzerland but living across the border are hold ‘G’ permits to work in Switzerland.

According to the Federal Office of Statistics, the majority of these workers hold jobs in industry, though a sizable portion occupy jobs in banking or jobs in the luxury watch industry.

The strongest rise in workers living in neighboring countries and commuting to jobs in Switzerland was in the region around lake

Geneva, which rose nearly 60%, followed by the region around Zurich, which rose by 35%. In Ticino, the rise was nearly 30%.

The country distribution of these foreign workers has not changed appreciably in the five year period. Well over half live in France, with approximately 20% living in Italy, another 20% in Germany, and the remainder in Austria.

Foreigners who live in neighboring countries but commute to jobs in Switzerland hold ‘G’ permits. Any citizens from the European Community have a right to such a permit.

The number of such workers in Switzerland has shown a particularly steep rise (+40% from 2003-2008) in the tertiary sector, with the chemical industry showing strong increases (+20%) and medical instruments and precision optics and luxury watchmaking showing increases of roughly 20%.

Europeans also have the right to exercise an independent activity – that is, to be self-employed– in Switzerland. Geneva currently has approximately 500 self-employed professionals who live in Neighboring France. There are somewhere on the order of 100o non-resident independents working at jobs in Switzerland.

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Growth of Work in Switzerland – Jobs lack Personnel

Posted on 01 July 2008 by Hans-T

The workforce in Switzerland grew significantly in the first and second quarters of 2008. Switzerland is in particular need of wokers qualified in the building and construction fields and in Information Technology (I.T.).

The job market in Switzerland remains excellent and has even improved over the first two quarters of 2008, in spite of inflationary fears and worries over the general economy.

Job growth has been strong, there are generally more opportunities than qualified professionals to fill them, work in Switzerland continues to increase, pulling in experts from the surrounding EU countries and even globally.

According to a recent Manpower study, some sectors of the economy continue to show marked scarcities of qualified job seekers in Switzerland.

By contrast with the three months of last year, the workforce grew by IT Jobs in Switzerland

3% between January and march of 2008, to 4.5 million working professionals.

The strongest gains in annual job growth concerned the sectors of precision medical instruments and luxury watch making (which Work in Swiss Companiesshowed a gain of 7000 jobs, + 7.8%). Building and Construction also grew by 1.9% or 5700 jobs.

Health and Social Services also registered gains (+2.8% or 12,800 jobs) and services – particularly I.T. – rose 3.3% adding roughly 12,000 during the first quarter of the year.

In Switzerland, 36% of the 786 companies surveyed for the Manpower survey experienced problems recruiting qualified personnel. Our of 10 domains of activity affected by the scarcity of qualified professionals and educated work force, the economy lacks particularly qualified personnel in the building and construction industries – such as carpenters, electricians,… — as well as production workers and skilled technicians.

The lack of qualified technicians, particularly in the luxury watch making industries, such as micromechanics experts, constitutes a real threat to Swiss economic growth and future of work in Switzerland. Repercussions of the demographic changes in progress will aggravate further the current lack of qualified personnel in the coming years.

The report underlines the importance of professional training and continuing education, as well as facilitating the import and relocation of foreign professionals with key skills and talents in order to maintain the growth of Swiss industries and the quality of work in Switzerland.

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Work in the Swiss Hospitality Industry

Posted on 29 April 2008 by Hans-T

According to a recent study by Manpower, Swiss employers in the Hotel and Restaurant Sector are highly optimistic for the period April-June 2008, for which they are predicting an increase in employment in Switzerland of 14%, considerably higher than last years hotel and restaurant industry jobs.

During the first quarter of 2008, the hotel and restaurant sector in Switzerland registered strong demand and created many new temporary jobs. The Manpower study said that for the 2nd quarter of 2008, the hotel and restaurant sectors would provide roughly 15% more work in Switzerland compared with last year. While 2007 was already an exceptional year, 2008 promises to show stronger growth in jobs in the hotel and restaurant businesses.

Despite the increase in jobs in hotels and restaurants in Switzerland, the salaries have not risen very much, and industry analysts are not expecting major increases in salaries any time soon.

Work in Swiss Hotel and Restaurant Industry

So while the increase in jobs this hospitality sector may be good for the general economy, it does not appear to signal an increase in the standard of living of employees of restaurants and hotels. Recruitment among Swiss hotels and restaurants nonetheless remains very strong.

The current strong growth in jobs in hotels and restaurants in Switzerland contrasts with the general moroseness in the construction industry, which has stagnated.

Manpower, the author of the study, is a global company specializing in employment services and temporary workers and has sales of over $21 billion. The group is active in recruitment in Switzerland for the hotel and restaurant industries.

Recruiting agencies claim that January 2008 was still better than January 2007, with a major increase in jobs and open-ended permanent contract hires.

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