2017 saw upswing in Swiss engineering jobs

Mechanical industries like precision toolmaking are doing well lately. Photo taken at Feintool near Bern © KEYSTONE / GAETAN BALLY

The Swiss mechanical, electrical and metal industries are recovering, as indicated by increases in turnover and employment. 

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The industry lobby group Swissmem reported on Thursday that 4,500 additional jobs were generated in 2017 compared to the previous year, taking the industry total to 322,100. In contrast, 12,600 jobs were cut in 2015 and 2016 combined. 

Last year also saw a 9.4% increase in turnover over 2016. In the fourth quarter alone, orders increased by a hefty 29.4%. 

“The industry hasn’t done so well in a long time,” said Swissmem in a statement. Yet it cautioned that the recent months of recovery were not enough to compensate for losses of the past few years. In order to invest in the future, the industry now needs a longer period of growth with significantly better margins, points out Swissmem. 

+ A year ago, one in two Swiss manufacturers planned to move abroad 

Total exports from the Swiss mechanical, electrical and metal industries increased by 5.5% in 2017, and by 5.9% to European Union countries and 7.4% to the United States.

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