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Overall score

Score by Indicator

in 2016 4.3
0 2.5 5 7.5 10

Key drivers

Education flexibility

Downward pressure came from a rise in education flexibility. Switzerland’s ranking in the latest PISA release, relating to school education, improved, while graduate numbers rose.

Labour market flexibility

Switzerland’s labour market continues to rank amongst the least regulated in the world, although dismal costs can pose a challenge for employers.

Labour market participation

With participation rates already high compared to its peers, slow labour supply growth may put pressure on Swiss firms seeking to expand with a smaller pool of workers to choose from.


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View from the ground

Marc Lutz, Managing Director, Hays Switzerland

Switzerland’s growth will be influenced strongly by the Swiss franc, digitalisation and demographic ageing. The Swiss franc has become a structural issue and is expected to remain strong in the long run. We expect digitalisation to create many opportunities for Switzerland as it will lead to structural changes and the emergence of new professional disciplines. The boundaries between IT and non-IT disciplines are becoming increasingly blurred. This is particularly the case in the engineering industry. As digitalisation requires skilled labour, we further expect that many outsourced projects will be transferred back to countries with highly-skilled labour forces such as Switzerland. We also see much innovation and growth potential in life sciences due to demographic ageing.

Marc Lutz, Managing Director, Hays Switzerland

Country Profile

Switzerland’s labour market is highly flexible and is therefore often able to avoid issues caused by pressures the labour market faces.

The country’s flexible labour markets are underpinned by all-time high labour market participation rates – reaching 84 per cent of 15-64 year olds last year – and substantial net immigration rates relative to the country’s population.

On the demand side, Switzerland’s economic growth in 2016 was low relative to the historical average and growth is forecast to rise only slightly this year. If that expectation materialises, the strains on the country’s labour market are likely to be small.

Key skills in demand

  • Quality specialists (life sciences)
  • Hardware development engineers
  • Clinical train managers
  • Software developers
  • Relationship managers (banking)

News and Press Materials

Marc Lutz, Managing Director, Hays Switzerland