Coronavirus causes 15% fewer job ads at the end of 2020 than the previous year

 

Recovery in sight: 8% more job ads than 6 months ago

 

Zurich, 18January 2021 – The 4th quarter of 2020 saw companies advertise 15% fewer positions than in the previous year. After the lockdown owing to Corona in March 2020, index values fell to levels as low as during the Swiss franc crisis 5 years ago. However, compared to mid-2020, a recovery is already evident. The increase is around +8%. This is shown in the scientifically based survey from the Adecco Group Swiss Job Market Index run by the Swiss Job Market Monitor at the University of Zurich. The major regions were affected by the decline in job ads to varying degrees: The decrease in published job ads was smallest in Central Switzerland and largest in the Greater Zurich area.

The Swiss job market recorded a decrease of 15% in the 4th quarter of the Corona year 2020 compared to the previous year. “The first wave of the pandemic and subsequent, wide-ranging precautionary measures had a big impact on many companies, leading to a Swiss-wide fall in the number of job ads. However, since the drop the number of job advertisements has increased again by 8% to the end of the 4th quarter of 2020. A recovery has been evident in many areas, especially in the domestic economy, for example the hospitality and construction industries over the summer and to some extent also the manufacturing sector. The healthcare sector was also able to recover when non-essential treatments were restarted1. However, this recovery was slowed by the restrictions and uncertainties connected with the second wave of infections, as State Secretariat for Economic Affairs (SECO) experts also showed with regard to the development of the GDP,” notes Monica Dell’Anna, CEO of the Adecco Group Switzerland.

Conversely, there are clear differences visible between the major regions: Central Switzerland suffered the least impact with a decrease of 7% compared to the previous year, followed by Northwest Switzerland with a decrease of 9%. Eastern Switzerland (-11%), the Lake Geneva region (-13%) and the Espace Mittelland region (-14%) were moderately affected. Job offers in the Greater Zurich area had the greatest fall with a decrease of 23%. “As a conglomeration, the Greater Zurich area was particularly affected by the massive reduction in mobility with many employees resorting to working from home. Private consumption in the cities decreased in line with the decrease in commuter numbers. Retail trade, private and social services, cultural, event and leisure companies, as well as gastronomy and hospitality showed significant declines. This occurred as a result of a reduction in the number of job advertisements for the relevant occupations”, explains Anna von Ow from the Swiss Job Market Monitor.


Across all regions, the largest decrease compared to the previous year was seen in engineering and IT jobs (-25%). Many jobs in the engineering and IT group are advertised by companies from economically sensitive and export-orientated industries; these were particularly impacted by the Corona crisis. Others can be found in the real estate and construction industries or in transport, which also suffered large losses, as shown by analyses by SECO2,” notes Anna von Ow. The number of advertisements for corporate services jobs sank by 21%, for personal and social services by 17% and for industry and construction jobs by 15%. However, the picture varies for different professions depending on the region.

 

The largest job market in Switzerland pro rata is the Greater Zurich area. It recorded the largest losses in the 4th quarter of the Corona year 2020 compared to the previous year. The number of job ads fell by 23%. The most affected were the personal and social services with a decrease of 37%. These include, for example, service and kitchen personnel as well as teaching and educational jobs. Engineering and IT jobs suffered a decrease in job ads of around one quarter (-26%), as did those for industry and construction (-24%). Job offers for corporate services jobs fell by around one fifth (-22%). 

 

In the Espace Mittelland, the number of job advertisements in the 4th quarter of 2020 was reduced by 14% compared to the previous year. In contrast to other regions, no recovery has taken place here in the meantime. At present, the most affected sectors are in engineering and IT, for which there are around a quarter fewer job advertisements (-25%). Vacancies for personal and social services jobs decreased by 22%. However, the number of job advertisements for these jobs increased particularly strongly before the pandemic, hence the current decline can be classified as less dramatic. Job ads for positions in industry and construction decreased by 20% compared to the previous year and those for corporate services jobs fell by 16%. Compared to the previous quarter, industry and construction jobs have already recovered with an increase of 16%. 

 

In the Lake Geneva region, there were 13% fewer job abs published in the 4th quarter of 2020 than in the previous year. Particularly affected by the decline in advertisements were corporate services jobs (-27% compared to the previous year and -10% in comparison to the previous quarter). Compared to the previous year, engineering and IT jobs fell by 24%, whereby the decline slowed after the initial strong losses and was only 6% compared to the 3rd quarter. The decrease in industry and construction jobs was 19% compared to the previous year and 14% compared to the previous quarter. The only increase was seen in personal and social services jobs (especially healthcare jobs): namely by 11% compared to the previous year and 6% compared to the 3rd quarter. 

 

In Eastern Switzerland, the number of job advertisements at the end of the pandemic year 2020 had decreased by 11% compared to the previous year. The situation in Eastern Switzerland has stabilised since the slump shortly after the partial lockdown in March, although a recovery has mostly failed to appear. However, the various job sectors were not affected equally by the slump. Industry and construction jobs were nearly able to maintain the level of the previous year with a decrease of 3%; this was particularly relevant for this region where the export industry is especially important. Personal and social services jobs decreased by 14% in comparison to 2019 and increased by 5% compared to the previous quarter, showing a recovery in this job group. In contrast, the decrease in job ads in corporate services declined by significantly more: 21% compared to 2019 and 9% compared to the previous quarter. Compared to the previous year, the decrease in advertisements for engineering and IT jobs was 38% and 15% compared to the previous quarter. Thus the index value of this job group in Eastern Switzerland moved to a similar level as that seen after the Swiss franc currency crisis. 

 

The decrease in Northwest Switzerland in the 4th quarter of 2020 was 9% compared to the previous year. The region was stable compared to the previous quarter (+3%). Job ads for personal and social services jobs were stable in comparison to 2019 with an increase of 4%, but decreased slightly compared to the 3rd quarter (-4%). All other job groups showed negative development compared to the previous year’s quarter: Jobs in industry and construction and engineering and IT suffered significant decreases of -18% and -20%, respectively. Thus the current index value of the jobs in industry and construction in the Corona year 2020 reached the level of 2015, whereby there was no recovery in sight in the 4th quarter, as shown by the decrease of -9% in the quarterly comparison. In contrast, engineering and IT jobs stabilised or showed a mild recovery compared to the previous quarter (+6%). Corporate services jobs also suffered a similar loss (-19%) in comparison to the previous year, however, were able to recover slightly by the 4th quarter in comparison to the previous quarter with a mild increase of 6%.

 

In the 4th quarter of crisis year 2020, Central Switzerland only suffered minor losses in the number of job advertisements of -7% and already showed signs of a recovery compared to the previous quarter (+6%). Central Switzerland thus had an above-average result compared with other Swiss regions. In comparison to the previous year, personal and social services jobs were stable in the 4th quarter of 2020 (+2%). This development was primarily driven by the demand for healthcare jobs. The number of job advertisements actually increased by 12% compared to the previous quarter. A slight decrease was seen in comparison to the previous year in corporate services jobs (-6%), as well as those in industry and construction (-8%). The largest decrease compared to the previous year was seen in engineering and IT jobs with a decrease of 13%.