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Working in Switzerland: A weekly roundup of the latest job news

Find out all the latest information related to working in Switzerland with The Local's weekly roundup of job news.

Working in Switzerland: A weekly roundup of the latest job news
Lorry drivers are difficult to find in Switzerland. PAUL FAITH / AFP

Fewer unemployed people in Switzerland

The situation on the Swiss labour market brightened further in August, as the unemployment rate fell slightly.

This is due to the fact that construction and tourism activities have picked up during the summer and there is an increasing need for workers in these sectors.

Another proof of the improved state of the labour market is the number of job seekers, which fell by 4,768 in August compared to July. At the same time, the number of vacancies increased by 1,638 to 58,450.

Wage increases: Swiss union asks for 100 francs more per month

Salaries must rise by at least 2 percent, or 100 francs per month, according to the Swiss Trade Union Union (USS).

After having made significant efforts during the pandemic, Switzerland’s employees “must now be able to take advantage of the favourable economic situation that is benefiting the vast majority of sectors in Switzerland”, USS said.  

“For the moment, with few exceptions, the workers have not yet seen the slightest recognition of these efforts in terms of pay”.

Special attention must be given to the professions in which women are mainly employed. According to the USS, one concrete example is the health sector, where the level of pay is “very inadequate”.

Some job vacancies are difficult to fill

There is a shortage of employees in sectors such as nursing, construction, or long-haul driving, but these positions are difficult to fill because many of these jobs are difficult and poorly paid.

Nicky Le Feuvre , work sociologist at the University of Lausanne, is not surprised by these shortages, especially since Swiss workers are not interested in certain professions and these jobs depend largely on foreign or cross- border  employees.

 “What is even more surprising is that this phenomenon is still evident today. This means that even now, some people think twice about getting into ‘difficult’ jobs. ”

Did you know?

If you are looking for a job in Switzerland, you don’t have to wait to answer adverts in the newspaper or online.

You can send in your CV “spontaneously”, that is, propose your candidacy to any company you are interested in, even if it is not hiring at the moment.

Simply send a letter along with your CV to the Human Resources department, explaining why you would like to work at this particular company, and asking to keep your application on file in case a vacancy comes up.

Quite a few people in Switzerland who contact the company directly end up hired.

Useful links

Looking for a job in Switzerland or just want a little more information about working here, then check out the following links: 

The pros and cons of working in Switzerland

Everything you need to know about annual leave in Switzerland

How much do university graduates earn in Switzerland – and who earns the most?

The jobs roundup is new addition and we’d welcome any feedback or suggestions for areas it should cover. Please email us at [email protected]

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For members


Jobs: Why Zurich has rebounded better than other Swiss cities from Covid

The Covid pandemic hit Switzerland hard, although the country's largest city has rebounded strongly.

Jobs: Why Zurich has rebounded better than other Swiss cities from Covid

Measures imposed due to the Covid pandemic, which began in earnest in February 2020, shuttered businesses across the country and pushed many people out of work. 

When most notable Covid rules were relaxed in Switzerland in mid-February 2022, the economic recovery – highlighted by a strong job market – began in earnest in 2021. 

READ MORE: How the Swiss job market rebounded from the Covid pandemic

Nowhere was this more evident than Zurich, Switzerland’s largest and most economically powerful city. 

How did Zurich rebound from the Covid pandemic in comparison to the rest of the country?

Even though Zurich, along with other large Swiss cities like Geneva, Basel, Bern and Lausanne, have been hit hard by the pandemic from the employment perspective, Zurich’s labour market is now growing faster than in other urban centres.

One of the reasons for this upward trend is that young, well-educated foreigners are coming back.

In the first nine months of 2021, the city’s population grew significantly.

In September alone, it recorded 2,200 additional residents.

This is mainly due to people with a B residence permit, according to Klemens Rosin, methodologist at Zurich’s Statistics Office.

During the crisis, far fewer of them left the city. “This group is made up of well-educated, younger and mobile foreigners who have made a significant contribution to Zurich’s growth”, Rosin said.

Zurich’s employment market is expect to grow even further.

READ MORE: How hard is finding work in Zurich without speaking German?

That’s because in the coming years, many Zurich workers will retire — an estimated  210,000 by year 2050 — creating more job opportunities for younger employees.

In fact, according to a study commissioned by the canton in 2021, if Zurich’s economy is to continue to flourish, it will need around 1.37 million workers by mid-century.

If these vacancies will not be filled, then income, tax revenue and the financing of social security programs will be impacted.

READ MORE: Have your say: What’s the best way to find a job in Zurich

While it is difficult to predict what jobs will be most in demand in 2050 — what new technologies will emerge in the meantime — right now and in medium term, IT workers will be especially needed, experts say, because businesses will continue to to digitalise and automate.

Lower skilled jobs will also be in higher demand, including hospitality, retail and transport. 

With hundreds of thousands of vacancies to fill, people with the permission to work in Switzerland are likely to be flush with offers – particularly skilled workers with recognised qualifications. 

READ MORE: Why finding a job in Switzerland is set to become easier