The Swiss labor market continues to be extremely robust. The number of employed people increased by 2.2 percent in the third quarter of 2023 compared to the same quarter of the previous year. This means that around 5.3 million Swiss people are employed.
The number of employed men increased by 1.8 percent, while the number of employed women increased by 2.6 percent. This emerges from the Swiss Labor Force Survey (SAKE), which was published by the Federal Statistical Office.
Caption: More employed people, fewer unemployed people: the signs on the Swiss labor market are good. Keystone/CHRISTIAN BEUTLER/Archive
Expressed in full-time equivalents, the increase was 2.4 percent. There was an increase of 2.0 percent for men, while the increase for women was 2.9 percent. Seasonally adjusted, i.e. compared to the second quarter of 2023, the number of employed people fell by 0.2 percent, while the number of full-time equivalents remained unchanged.
Open box Close box
The full-time equivalent (FTE) or full-time equivalent is an auxiliary variable when measuring working time. It is defined as the number of hours worked (in a company, region or country) divided by the usual working hours of a full-time worker, for example 40 hours. In companies, the number of FTEs indicates how many full-time positions result from a mixed staffing with part-time employees.
The number of foreigners rose particularly sharply. While the number of Swiss employees only increased slightly year-on-year (+0.7 percent), the increase among foreign employees was more noticeable (+5.2 percent).
Unemployment rate fell slightly
The unemployment rate fell to 4.2 percent in the third quarter, after it was 4.3 percent in the same period last year. According to the definition of the International Labor Organization (ILO), 214,000 people were unemployed in Switzerland. That was 1,000 more than a year earlier.
ILO unemployment rate
Open box Close box
The ILO unemployment rate is significantly higher than the unemployment rate according to the Seco definition, which only counts people registered as unemployed. Seco also does not publish quarterly, but rather monthly values. In October, the Seco unemployment rate remained at a very low level of 2.0 percent.
Meanwhile, according to the ILO (15 to 24 year olds), the youth unemployment rate in Switzerland continued to rise year-on-year – namely to 10.5 percent in the third quarter after 9.2 percent in the same period last year. In contrast, there was a decline among boys in the EU over the same period, but the bottom line is that the rate is still significantly higher than the one here (14.5 percent).