Swiss job market

Job advertisements: Switzerland reaches pre-Coronavirus level

Hospitality and hotel sectors recovering significantly in 2021 summer semester


Zurich, 30 September 2021 – The recovery of the Swiss job market continued in the 3rd quarter of 2021: the Adecco Group Swiss Job Market Index increased by 9% compared to the previous quarter. Compared to the 3rd quarter of 2020, the increase was no less than 28%. The number of job advertisements has now recovered to pre-Coronavirus levels for the first time. This is shown in the scientifically based survey from the Adecco Group Swiss Job Market Index run by the Job Market Monitor at the University of Zurich.

There was a clear increase in job advertisements in the 3rd quarter of 2021: the Swiss Job Market Index was 9% above the previous quarter and even 28% compared to the previous year: “Companies are continuing the positive trend in personnel searches compared to the pandemic year of 2020; in the 3rd quarter of 2021, the Adecco Job Index returned to pre-pandemic levels for the first time, which indicates a clear recovery,” explains Anna von Ow from the Swiss Job Market Monitor.


Promising development in hospitality

“The hospitality sector had already experienced a revival in the 2nd quarter of 2021. The number of hotel stays also increased significantly1. Many more jobs were advertised in the 3rd quarter of 2021 for the strongly linked hospitality and hotel sectors compared to half a year ago. Even if in this case the pre-Coronavirus levels have not quite been regained, the industry is currently battling with major recruitment difficulties. Many employees in the hospitality sector have found jobs in other industries during the pandemic and now have significantly higher expectations regarding working hours and locations,” states Monica Dell‘Anna, CEO of the Adecco Group Switzerland.


Focus on the hospitality and hotel sectors: hit hard at first, now recovering
The lockdown in early 2020 caused by the Coronavirus cut the hospitality and hotel sectors deeply. Stay-at-home orders, closures, contact restrictions: all major challenges to running hospitality and hotel businesses. The subsequent easing of restrictions and hygiene measures were only a modest help to the situation; the number of persons testing Covid-positive in autumn 2020 returned to a critical level and stricter measures were reintroduced. Restaurants and hotels throughout Switzerland had to shut their doors twice and were only allowed to operate a restricted business up to and including the 1st quarter of 2021. Below is the comparison with pre-Coronavirus levels:

The hospitality and hotel sectors suffered a decrease in the number of advertised positions (-36%) in 20212 compared to 2019 before the pandemic. However, there were differences in magnitude seen in different occupations: Job advertisements for receptionists and porters showed the largest decrease by a clear margin in 2021 (-52%), followed by advertisements for restaurant and hotel specialists (-46%), auxiliary kitchen, laundry and cleaning staff and others occupied in the hospitality sector (-43%) as well as chefs (-24%). The least impacted (-19%) were directors and other management positions in hospitality and hotel businesses.


Clear recovery in the hospitality and hotel sector

The industry regained momentum in the course of reopening steps and the loosening of Coronavirus measures as well as the lifting of the personnel restrictions in June 2021. This is confirmed by the most recent developments for job advertisements in the hospitality and hotel sectors: Throughout the 2021 summer semester3, the number of job advertisements increased strongly compared to the previous winter semester4, which was impacted by the lockdown around the festive season and restrictions in early 2021.

“Gastronomy and hospitality businesses have also advertised many reportable positions at the RAV/Jobroom and the number of registered unemployed fell markedly over the summer months. Adecco was able to register a considerable rise in mandates in this time in the hospitality and hotel sector, especially in the summer period of June, July and August. The number of mandates increased by 61.8% in this period,” notes Monica Dell’Anna.


Hospitality and hotel sectors not yet at pre-Coronavirus levels

Despite the increase in job advertisements in hospitality and hotels, the numbers have not yet reached the peak of 139 points recorded in the winter semester 2019/2020. “The pre-Coronavirus level of the index for the hospitality and hotel sectors peaked shortly before mid-March 2020, so it will likely take some time yet until the job market for the hospitality and hotel sectors reaches this level again. The index of the job advertisements for these sectors was 14% lower in the summer semester of 2021 than in the summer semester of 2019 before the pandemic,” adds Ana von Ow from the Swiss Job Market Monitor.

Methods and Data

The developments in the hospitality and hotel sectors presented here are based on Job Index data for the period from the 4th quarter of 2014 up to the 3rd quarter of 2021. These quarterly data include both data from the 12 largest Swiss job exchanges as well as company data from approx. 1,350 company websites, which constitutes a representative sample for Switzerland stratified by industry and company size.5

To ensure sufficient case numbers, the index values for the above sectors were calculated on the basis of annual data, i.e. they consist of four pooled quarters. To synchronise with the date of publication and ensure the data were current, the 4th quarter of the previous year was combined with the first three quarters of the current year and pooled to an annual value, e.g. the index value for 2021 consists of the first three quarters of 2021 and the final quarter of 2020.

For a better overview of the Coronavirus-related development, the semester values of the sector index have also been divided into a winter semester, comprising the 1st quarter of the relevant and the 4th quarter of the preceding year, and a summer semester, consisting of the 2nd and 3rd quarters of the relevant year.

1p.Economic trends, autumn 2021 – Notes from August / September 2021

2 Annual value summarised from Q4/2020 to Q3/2021, see Methods and Data for a more detailed explanation

32. And 3rd quarter of 2021

44. quarter of 2020 and 1st quarter of 2021

5Advertisements in the press were also collected up to the 1st quarter of 2018.