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Swiss labour market shows signs of recovery after Covid-19 slump

Banks were among the sectors least threatened by job cuts. © Keystone / Urs Flueeler

A survey of companies and an analysis of advertised posts indicate that the job market is recovering from the impact of the coronavirus pandemic.  

According to an article in the SonntagsZeitung paper on Sunday, the labour market is recovering faster from its April low than experts predicted.  

A survey of 18,000 companies conducted by the Federal Statistical Office suggest that Switzerland will fare better than expected. Around 71% of the firms surveyed want to maintain their staffing levels in the third quarter of 2020 and nine percent want to increase them. Only seven percent intend to cut jobs which is lower than during the financial crisis of 2008: at the peak of the financial crisis in the first quarter of 2009, 12% of companies surveyed stated that they intended to cut jobs. 

However, not all sectors have weathered the Covid-19 storm equally well. The most pessimistic are watchmakers, machinery manufacturers, the metal refiners, logistics firms, landlords and hoteliers. They want to reduce their workforce by an above-average amount of between 11% and 17%. The sectors least threatened by job cuts include banks, insurers, the health, social and education sectors and public administration. 

Another indicator of recovery is the number of newly advertised jobs analysed by the data companies Novalytica and X28. Between June and August – i.e. since the easing of coronavirus restrictions – this has risen by more than 50% from 26,490 to 39,915. However, the number of vacancies is still clearly below last year’s level: In August, 15 percent fewer jobs were advertised than in August 2019. 

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SWI - a branch of Swiss Broadcasting Corporation SRG SSR

SWI - a branch of Swiss Broadcasting Corporation SRG SSR