Data published this week by Switzerland’s Federal Statistical Office (FSO) show that the number of active workers in Switzerland rose to a record 5.239 million by the end of 2021.
The number of people employed at the end of 2021 was 1.9% higher than at the end of 2020. 5.239 million represents around 73% of those 15 or older.
Sharp rise in hotel and restaurant jobs
The number of people actively working in hotel and restaurant jobs rose 8,700 (+3.8%). Worker numbers were also up in business services (+5.1%), manufacturing (+0.7%) and construction (+1.0%).
Job growth across all cantons
Job numbers rose across all of Switzerland with sharp rises in the secondary and tertiary areas in the Lake Geneva region (+2.6%), Zurich (+2.9%) and central Switzerland (+3.1%).
Large rise in job vacancies
By the end of 2021, there were 32,900 more job vacancies that at the end of 2020, a rise of 50%. The number of vacant positions grew by 59.4% in the secondary sector and 47.5% in the tertiary sector, adding a further 32,900 vacancies bringing the total to 98,600. 2.1% of secondary and 1.8% of tertiary positions were unfilled by the end of 2021.
The percentage of employers reporting difficulty finding qualified staff rose 8.2 percentage points to 36.3%.
A mismatch between the skills of the unemployed and the requirement of employers is an enduring phenomenon of labour markets. At the end of 2021, Switzerland had 98,600 vacancies and 121,728 unemployed. In Geneva, a canton with a persistently high rate of unemployment, the number of vacancies (14,085) exceeded the number of job seekers (10,851), a rate of 1.3 vacancies per job seeker.