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Job market Skilled worker shortage worsens in Switzerland

A hairdresser at work

There is an oversupply of hairdressers and beauticians in Switzerland


The shortage of skilled workers on the Swiss job market has become even more acute this year, according to a survey. Finding suitable engineers, technical workers and fiduciaries is particularly difficult. 

The skilled worker shortage index(PDF), compiled annually by Adecco Switzerland in collaboration with the University of Zurich, measures the occupations in which the number of vacancies is particularly large compared with the number of job-seekers. 

The index, published on Thursday, said that this year the shortage in certain sectors had become even more acute, particularly in German-speaking Switzerland (see map). 

map of skills shortages

The shortage of skilled workers is highest in eastern Switzerland, Adecco found.

(Adecco Schweiz)

The engineering professions, for example civil and electronic engineers, remained top of the ranking for shortage of skilled labour. Technical jobs such as heating, ventilation and air-conditioning engineers moved up from third to second place. These are followed by fiduciaries and auditors, then IT workers. 

In addition, the shortage of specialists in the medical and pharmaceutical professions had increased noticeably, with considerably more vacancies than a year ago, Adecco said. This was clear in the case of pharmacists, while the number of doctors has been unable to keep pace with the growing demand in the healthcare system for some time now. 


top skills shortages switzerland

Construction glut 

On the other hand, there is an oversupply of workers in cleaning or hygiene and body care professions, for example hairdressers, beauticians or caretakers. Competition for jobs is greatest in these professions, according to the survey. 

Competition is also high in the hospitality industry, trade and commerce, as well as commercial and administrative positions. 

The glut of workers in the construction industry had eased somewhat compared with the previous year, with the number of job advertisements rising and the number of job-seekers falling at the same time.

Adecco said that there are various reasons behind the skilled worker shortage, including a low unemployment rate a strong economy, particularly in eastern Switzerland.

Companies in peripheral cities like St Gallen also struggle to attract skilled workers faced by more attractive regions such as Zurich, SRF reports.


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