View from the Ground
With a steadily rising GDP rate and low unemployment, the economy in Switzerland has enjoyed a solid and stable few years. Much like last year, we continue to expect digitalisation to create opportunities for Switzerland, leading to structural changes and a host of new roles and skills. According to our recent report, ‘Focus on the effects of digitalisation on employment’, digitalisation has a positive impact on employment across all specialist fields and does not kill jobs – in fact, it is quite the opposite. As a result of digitalisation and the skilled professionals it requires, we expect many outsourced projects to continue to move back to Switzerland and other countries with highly skilled workforces. We must however ensure we have enough people with the right skills to keep up with demand.
Marc Lutz, Managing Director, Hays Switzerland
Key Skills in Demand
- Software Developers
- Project Managers
- Quality Managers
In 2018, GDP increased by 2.5%, above its average of the previous five years of 1.8%. It was boosted by the growth in consumer spending and net exports. Although a slowdown is expected for 2019, growth is forecast to be solid in the medium term, averaging around 1.5% annually. This is partially thanks to the high-quality consumer and investment goods the country produces. Demand for such products is growing, notably among the expanding middle classes in emerging economies.
There is some evidence of an increase in the demand for labour, with the registered unemployment rate decreasing to 2.6% in 2018. There are shortages of skilled workers in some industries, in part due to lower immigration.
The participation rates of females at 62.9% and older people (between 55 and 64 years old) at 75.6% remains relatively low. The official retirement age has not been increased from 65 for men and 64 for women despite high and rising life expectancy, which disincentivises older people from working.