Categorized | Economy, Find Employment

Switzerland approaches full employment

Posted on 15 April 2007 by Klebnikov

Finding a job in Switzerland is becoming less difficult. In addition to the many avenues of professional job search available to the candidate from abroad seeking Swiss-based employment –like recruitment websites and newspapers and job exchanges and career or employment agencies– the unemployment rate in Switzerland has officially dropped below 3% making Switzerland the first country in Europe to achieve an economic landscape of full employment. The Department of the Economy in Bern (SECO) is forecasting a further drop below 2%. The result is a job market that is tight and in certain sectors characterized by a steep lack of qualified labor.

We note in passing that those who make up the 3% unemployed remain unimpressed; the International Labor Organization, however, defines ‘full employment’ as an unemployment rate below 5%. Job seekers on the Swiss employment market find an enormous number of job offers to choose from.

The optimistic unemployment statistics are reminding Swiss of the Swiss employment oportunities and high paying jobs1980’s when the unemployment rate was 0.5% and many economists are cheerfully predicting a return to ‘full employment.’ The steep drop in the unemployment rate is due to the economic boom and the expansion of the Swiss economy, exacerbated by the arrival of numerous multinationals deciding to set up European headquarters in Switzerland. Many companies are hiring and there are not enough qualified candidates for the jobs.

While globalization has indeed had a braking effect on salaries and stimulating effect on the property market, there has been a rapid creation of many new jobs. Recruiters are working at full capacity to satisfy the demand from Swiss industry to fill jobs in Swiss companies. SECO is claiming the creation of 30,000 new jobs in 2007, adding to the 200,000 new jobs created between 2000 and 2006.

In 2005 the Geneva – Lausanne region created 12,000 new jobs against only 7500 in the Zurich region. The pace of job creation is continuing. In March there were 1251 unfilled jobs (vacant positions) in Vaud; in Geneva 722 jobs were vacant. Unemployment has dropped so precipitously that the cantonal placement offices –which help the unemployed get back into the workforce—had to fire staff. The fast pace of the current job market in Switzerland is seen by the quantity and frequency of job advertisements on recruitment websites like edicom, jobup, monster, nzzexecutive, topjobs, jobs, and jobpilot.

The current anxiety of the Swiss job market is not unemployment but rather job security. While there are lots of jobs, a greater number of them are temporary. Roughly one in three of the jobs created in 2006 was a temporary job – a limited duration contract (or ‘cdl’ : contrat de durée limitée). For calendar year 2006, roughly 260,000 Swiss had temporary work.

Geneva is the city with worst unemployment – officially at 6.7%. The Swiss employment oportunities and high paying jobsGDP of the canton of Geneva rose 3% in 2006, higher than the national average, but the number of unemployed dropped only 0.1% (equal to 540 persons). There were, as of two weeks ago, officially approximately 14,700 Genevans unemployed. The unemployment statistics are about the same for foreigners and Swiss.

The average length of time unemployed persons remained without a job increased from 330 days to 348 days. Government officials in Bern say the situation is very unhealthy because the less time an individual remains unemployed the higher the possibility that he will find a new job. The spokesman for SECO said that optimally, the period with a job should not be longer than 3 months.

Geneva is the city with worst unemployment – officially at 6.7%. The GDP of the canton of Geneva rose 3% in 2006, higher than the national average, but the number of unemployed dropped only 0.1% (equal to 540 persons). There were, as of two weeks ago, officially approximately 14,700 Genevans unemployed. The unemployment statistics are about the same for foreigners and Swiss.

The average length of time unemployed persons remained without a job increased from 330 days to 348 days. Government officials in Bern say the situation is very unhealthy because the less time an individual remains unemployed the higher the possibility that he will find a new job. The spokesman for SECO said that optimally, the period with a job should not be longer than 3 months.

Zurich has a very low unemployment rate and the number of jobs available is the highest in Switzerland. “Work in Switzerland” regularly posts information about ajobs available and companies hiring in Zurich. There are a great many recruitment agencies set up in the Zurich area to find professional staff for the Swiss banks, insurance companies, financial services companies and pharmaceutical companies.

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