Swiss job market: 27% fewer job advertisements since the coronavirus crisis


Professions in technology and sciences as well as construction and expansion least affected


Zurich, 23 June 2020 – Companies are advertising 27% fewer jobs in the second quarter of 2020 than shortly before the coronavirus crisis. This is reflected in the scientifically substantiated survey of the Adecco Group Swiss Job Market Index conducted by the University of Zurich’s Swiss Job Market Monitor. All occupational groups are experiencing a slump in job offers, but to varying degrees. Job advertisements for occupations in technology and sciences (-17%) and construction and expansion (-18%) fell the least, while those for professions in hospitality and personal services (-39%) fell the most. All the major regions are strongly affected by the decline in job advertisements, with Latin Switzerland recording a slightly greater drop than German-speaking Switzerland.


The slump on the Swiss job market after 16 March 2020 – the start date of the extraordinary situation in Switzerland – is clearly reflected in the latest development of the Adecco Group Swiss Job Market Index (Job Index). The number of job advertisements in the second quarter of 2020 is a full 27% lower than in the first quarter of 2020. Job advertisements for the Job Index of the first quarter of 2020 were collected shortly before 16 March 2020. This means that the quarterly comparison optimally compares the situation prior to and during coronavirus . “Compared to the previous quarter, the slump is abrupt and, for the time being, more severe in scope than past crises such as the banking crisis, where the effect was less sudden. This is because virtually all parts of public, social, economic and cultural life had to be shut down practically overnight in this current crisis. This was to prevent an uncontrollable spread of Covid-19. Accordingly, professions such as those in hospitality and personal services, where personal contact is the main focus and where business is typically conducted at very short notice, are currently particularly affected,” comments Anna von Ow from Job Market Monitor Switzerland. “The good news is that the decline has been halted. The number of job advertisements has settled at a low level since the abrupt slump experienced within the first three weeks. But we cannot yet speak of a clear turnaround. Nevertheless, there is hope for a relatively rapid recovery. Switzerland, with its rapidly implemented economic policy measures, scores very well in an international comparison of the response to the pandemic. This has been demonstrated by a study by the Adecco Group,” explains Monica Dell’Anna, CEO of the Adecco Group Switzerland.



Particularly affected: hospitality and personal services (-39%)


Protective measures resulted in public, social, economic and cultural life coming to a virtual standstill. Restaurants, hairdressing salons and clothes shops, for example, remained completely closed. The number of job advertisements in hospitality and personal services professions has fallen drastically (-39%) as a result. This occupational group includes, for example, service and kitchen personnel, housekeeping professions or personal hygiene professions.


The decline in trade and sales professions (-35%) has also been huge. This occupational group includes, for example, retail employees and cashiers. This means that the trade and sales professional index, which already had comparatively low values before the coronavirus outbreak, is currently at its lowest level since the start of the 2012 measurement series.


Office and administration professions are currently at a low unseen since the index series began in 2012. Office and administration occupations have been underperforming for some time now. Moreover, the -35% decline in this occupational group is surprisingly large at a first glance since measures such as working from home and social distancing regulations are, in many cases, easier to introduce in these occupations than, for example, in hospitality occupations. These occupations comprise commercial professions and professions in advertising and marketing.


An equally strong slump of -35% can be observed in management and organisation occupations. This occupational group includes, among others, managing directors in catering, entrepreneurs, senior civil servants and project managers, as well as personnel and organisation specialists.


Job advertisements for IT professions have decreased by 26%. This occupational group consists of, for example, programmers and analysts.


Occupations in healthcare, education and public services have each fallen 22%. Healthcare professions include, for example, physiotherapists and nurses. Education and public service professions include legal, welfare and education professions, teachers and media professionals.


If we take a closer look at industry and transport occupations, the number of job advertisements in the second quarter of 2020 is a good fifth (-21%) lower than in the first quarter of 2020. The index value of this occupational group has thus fallen to the level achieved at the end of 2015. This occupational group includes, for example, professions in metalworking and metal processing, mechanical engineering or vehicle and equipment construction.



Less strongly affected: professions in construction and expansion (-18%) and technology and science (-17%)


At just -17%, job advertisements for occupations in technology and science have fallen the least in comparison with other groups. This occupational group comprises structural and civil engineering technicians and drafters to name just a few.


Professions in construction and expansion (e.g. bricklayers, electricians or sanitary planners) are also experiencing a comparatively weaker decline of -18%.


Financial and fiduciary service professions (e.g. accountants, and banking and insurance occupations) suffered a loss of slightly less than a fifth compared to the first quarter of 2020, at -19%.


“Job advertisements have collapsed across all professions. This also affects occupations that seem to be particularly well-suited for working from home or occupations that do not require direct contact with other people (in ICT or, to some extent, in technical and scientific fields for example). These developments show how interconnected the Swiss economy is and how drastic the uncertainty and rules of conduct have been for a large number of professions. Depending on the situation of trading partners (customers and clients), some companies have had to be scaled back, sometimes significantly, because, for example, project financing was called into question or supply chains were interrupted,” states Anna von Ow from Job Market Monitor Switzerland.


“We assume that the current situation will accelerate transformation processes so that production and work processes will be further automated and digitalized. We have been observing this development for several years now. Job Index figures support this development and the latest developments within the context of the coronavirus have even accelerated this transformation process,” adds Monica Dell’Anna.


“The current situation is likely to be particularly difficult for people in occupations that have been in decline for some time during our study. This is the case for some office and sales professions. Training offers and retraining opportunities actively promoted by companies and politicians are helpful here,” states Anna von Ow from Job Market Monitor Switzerland.



Job markets in all major Swiss regions suffer significant declines


The second quarter of 2020 shows that all major Swiss regions are showing similarly strong declines in the number of job advertisements compared to the period pre-coronavirus. Latin Switzerland, which has also been more severely affected in terms of coronavirus cases, is seeing a slightly greater decline in the number of job advertisements than German-speaking Switzerland.


With a fall of 29% each, companies in the Lake Geneva Region and Espace Mittelland are cutting back their tendering practices the most when compared to the previous quarter. Job advertisements in Northwestern Switzerland are down 28%. The decline in job advertisements is somewhat less pronounced in the Greater Zurich Area (-25%), Central Switzerland (-25%) and Eastern Switzerland (-24%), each with a drop of around a quarter.




11 occupational groups:
Percentage values

4 occupational groups:
Percentage values




*The percentage values are based on the random sample from the Adecco Group Swiss Job Market Index

Major regions:
Percentage values