Switzerland: Demand for International Workers Remained High in 2023

The demand for international workers was high in 2023 in Switzerland, according to the country’s government.

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A report from the Observatory of the Free Movement of Persons Agreement revealed that last year, the unemployment rate reached its lowest level since 2001, Schengen.News reports.

The same source revealed that employment growth was also solid in 2023.

Against the backdrop of strong demand for labour, immigration from the EU/EFTA area was high at 68,000 people. However, the level of immigration is also closely related to the demographic potential in the country.

Switzerland’s government

The statement notes that the Swiss economy also relies on immigrants from the EU to recruit low-skilled workers for simpler jobs, mainly in the hospitality, construction, and industry sectors.

Majority of EU Workers in Switzerland Are Highly Qualified

According to the government of Switzerland, a large number of EU workers in Switzerland are highly qualified and employed in demanding jobs in fast-growing industries, such as the field of freelance, scientific and technical services, the information and communication sector or the health sector.

This has proven to be an advantage with regard to the labour market integration of the immigrant population, as is also demonstrated by the high labour market participation of EU nationals.

Switzerland’s government

The report notes that the native working-age population has increased slightly in the past 20 years as a result of progressive demographic aging. Still, it is highly integrated into the labour market, and the employment rate of the Swiss is high, even compared to other countries.

However, the government says that in spite of the additional mobilisation of the native population that has been reached in the past few years, the scope for this was limited.

In contrast to Switzerland, other countries such as Austria, the Netherlands and Belgium have been able to tap into significantly greater potential domestically in recent years by increasing labour force participation or reducing unemployment.

Switzerland’s government

1.812 Million Internationals Worked In Switzerland in Q1 of 2024

The figures provided by the government of Switzerland revealed that in the first quarter of this year, a total of 1.82 million foreigners worked in Switzerland. Four in five workers, or a total of 78.3 per cent came from an EU/EFTA state in the United Kingdom, while the rest, or 21.7 per cent came from a third country.

The majority of internationals working in Switzerland were holders of a C permit, or 43.6 per cent, followed by holders of a residence permit (permit B or L) and holders of a short-term residence permit.