Swiss job advertisements are stagnating at a high level
Only healthcare and construction & expansion professions are continuing to grow
Zurich, 16 January 2020 – The Adecco Group Swiss Job Market Index remained at the previous year’s level (+1%) in the fourth quarter of 2019. This is reflected in the scientifically substantiated survey of the Adecco Group Swiss Job Market Index conducted by the Swiss Job Market Monitor from the University of Zurich. Swiss companies were advertising about the same number of jobs in the fourth quarter of 2019 as they were in the fourth quarter of 2018, so the number of job advertisements in the major regions has hardly changed. However, not all occupational groups were affected by the stagnation equally. Exceptions included construction & expansion and healthcare professions. Both occupational groups continued to record above-average growth.
As the development of the Adecco Group Swiss Job Market Index (Job Index) shows, the number of job advertisements in Switzerland in the fourth quarter of 2019 stagnated at the previous year’s level (+1%). ‘So it seems that the Swiss job market is currently remaining at a high level, which is by no means surprising given the gloomy economic situation,“ commented Nicole Burth, CEO of the Adecco Group Switzerland. It is only in the healthcare and construction & expansion professions that we are still seeing growth in job advertisements compared to the previous year. ‘Health professions are less dependent on the economic cycle than other professional groups. On the other hand, developments in the construction & expansion professions are likely to benefit from the fact that interest rates for construction are still very low” comments Anna von Ow from the Swiss Job Market Monitor.
More job vacancies than ever for health, management and organisation professions
Recruiting by companies stagnated in the fourth quarter of 2019 in almost all occupational groups – both when compared to the previous year and to the previous quarter. At the same time, there was hardly any change in the number of job advertisements in almost all occupational groups. Only the healthcare professions and those in the construction & expansion sector saw significant improvement.
Companies were increasingly looking for healthcare personnel in the fourth quarter of 2019 – both when compared to the previous year (with a significant increase of 17%), and to the previous quarter (with a slight rise of 6%). With a value of 204, the job index for the healthcare professions has thus more than doubled in contrast to when the index series started in 2012 and the indexing point was set at 100. The healthcare professions include the likes of pharmacists and pharmacy assistants, medical laboratory assistants, doctors, nurses and orderlies.
The number of job advertisements for the construction & expansion professions also rose year-on-year (+12%), but stagnated quarter-on-quarter (–1%), which is not surprising given that demand for these professions is seasonal. In particular, the number of job advertisements for the professions in the expansion sector – including the likes of roofers, road builders, heating and ventilation engineers and electricians – increased.
For all other professions, the annual change in the number of job advertisements ranges between +5% and -5%, which is also reflected in the general stagnation on the Swiss job market. “It must be noted that the increase in the number of job advertisements in 2018 was particularly strong for some occupational groups, so it’s not surprising that growth is currently slowing down, stagnating at a high level or decreasing slightly,” added Anna von Ow.
Standstill in the Swiss regions
There was little happening in the fourth quarter of 2019 compared to the previous year even in the major Swiss regions. A moderate change was only noticeable in Northwestern Switzerland – although here, too, the increase was only 5%. In all other regions, the year-on-year change was between –1 and +1%. In contrast, the development by occupational group was more markedly distinguishable within the regions.
In Northwestern Switzerland, the industry and construction professions were up 11% on the previous year, but down on the previous quarter (–6%), with the professions in construction & expansion (e.g. electricians) being the main reason for this increase. The number of job advertisements for professions in the business services sector – including HR specialists or project managers, for example – also rose 11% year-on-year, but stagnated on a quarterly comparison.
The number of job advertisements for industry and construction dropped in the fourth quarter of 2019 compared to the previous year in the Lake Geneva region (–14%) and in Espace Mittelland (–8%). Industry professions – including mechanical engineering or watch industry professions, for instance – were particularly affected by the decline. The mechanical engineering and watchmaking industries, for example, react strongly to economic fluctuations and are particularly dependent on trading partners from the Eurozone and Asia due to their focus on exports. In contrast, as in the previous quarter, companies were advertising slightly more jobs for professions in personal and social services in these two regions in the fourth quarter of 2019, with a moderate increase of 6% in the Lake Geneva region and 10% in Espace Mittelland. Personal and social services include healthcare, hospitality and welfare professions, for instance. The other occupational groups in these two regions stagnate with annual changes in the range of +/- 5%.
A slight 10% rise was noticeable in the personal and social services professions – which include occupations in the likes of hospitality, healthcare and education – in the Greater Zurich area. There was also a slight increase (+6%) in the number of vacancies in the technology and IT professions, including technicians and engineers. However, the industry and construction professions, as well as business services, stagnated in the Greater Zurich area compared to the previous year.
In Eastern Switzerland, however, only the personal and social services professions increased year-on-year, by 11%. Meanwhile, all other occupational groups stagnated – or even declined in the case of technology and IT professions (–10%). A decrease was noticeable in this regard, both compared to the same quarter of the previous year and to the previous quarter.
In Central Switzerland, the number of job advertisements for professions in personal and social services fell by 17% year-on-year. Business services professions decreased by 8%. However, companies in the industry and construction sectors advertised slightly more vacancies than they did in the previous year (+13%).
11 occupational groups:
4 occupational groups:
* The percentage values are based on the random sample from the Adecco Group Swiss Job Market Index