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Swiss Job Market Monitor

Development of the job market since 1950

Combined print-online index of the development of job availability from 1950 (annual series, March: 2001=100)

Development of job availability from 1950

The annual indices presented show the long-term development of job availability, in other words the demand for staff in the Swiss economy. Over the period as a whole, the ups and downs in the long series closely follow macroeconomic trends. By and large, the development of job availability offers a mirror image of that of unemployment figures. The development of the index shows that – even from a very long-term perspective – job availability in recent years has been on a very high level, one last reached around 1990. In contrast, the low index values show that the boom around 2001 was – despite strong economic growth – marked by a weak demand for personnel, from a long-term comparative perspective (for a more detailed account see Sacchi, 2014: 15).

It is also striking that the development of the index for the whole of Switzerland since 1980 coincides almost perfectly with that for German-speaking Switzerland alone. The differences have increased fractionally since around 2008, reflecting a slightly stronger development of job availability in French-speaking Switzerland. However, the overall very minor differences over the last few decades suggest that the indicator for German-speaking Switzerland, which extends much further back into the past, offers a very good approximation of developments on the Swiss job market as a whole since 1950.

The combined print-online index of job availability will be updated annually in future, and can be downloaded as an Excel file using the link on the right. The latest figures for the current year are added to the long series every year around the end of March.

Method and data

The combined indices map the changes in the number of published job advertisements in German-speaking Switzerland (from 1950) and in the whole of Switzerland  (from 1980), as measured every year in March. The indices record the job advertisements published in the press, on corporate websites, and in online job portals, on the basis of representative samples. The emergence of the internet, beginning in the second half of the 1990s, was linked with a substantial rise in volume: though the number of jobs available remained the same, the number of advertisements increased, partly because vacancies were being advertised via more than one channel. The distorting effect of this rise in volume has been corrected in the measurement series presented here; the methods used are described in a working paper of the Swiss Job Market Monitor (Sacchi, 2014). Once adjusted, these measurement series offer indicators of job availability/ demand for staff in the Swiss economy which can, for the first time, be compared over the long term.

Combined Press-Online Index. SMM Working Paper 2014-1 (PDF, 903 KB) (in German)

Data (index values) (XLS, 21 KB)