August 2020 Unemployment News and Company Job Cuts Switzerland Report

The latest employment figures show that 85,000 fewer people are employed now than at the same time in 2019. This is the biggest year on year decline since 1993.

The second quarter federal labour statistics late August show a 1.6% reduction in employed people in Switzerland compared with this time last year.

The drop was slightly higher for women than for men (1.7% and 1.5% respectively).

Those in partial unemployment are not classified as out of work, in the statistics. The over 50 long-term unemployed and those off the RAV register seeking work are also not included.

The Federal Statistical Office (FSO) said weekly hours per employed person fell by 9.5% in this period and there is a gender imbalance as more women were impacted.

223,000 people are now unemployed – that’s 17,000 more than 2019.

Young people (15-24 years old) were particularly affected by the crisis: while the unemployment rate for the whole population climbed from 4.2% to 4.6%, it increased from 6.2% to 8.4% for this segment. 

Between the second quarter of 2019 and the second quarter of 2020, the number of employed Swiss nationals fell by 2.4%, however when residents with permits are reviewed, there were some huge disparities.

Those contract, short-term or newly arrived foreign residents ( short-term 12 month maximum L permits) saw their numbers employed reduce by 16.2%. More jobs went to C Permit holders and those with cross-border status (increased employment by 3.6%).

Job Cuts Announced By Companies

Kudelski is the latest Swiss company to be hit by the coronavirus crisis. It was a company heavily reliant upon short-term working to retain jobs in Switzerland. The ending of the scheme and its first half corporate financial results (annual turnover down 20%) meant the company had to cut costs, a 14% cut in jobs ( 489 positions).

Swiss retailer Manor announced plans to reduce approximately 5% of its workforce and a re-structuring to counter the growth in online competition and the effect of coronavirus on store sales. Their online store website does not have a English language version unlike many others now in Switzerland.

Credit Suisse plans to close 37 branches in Switzerland as part of an effort to streamline its Swiss business, a 40% increase in the use of online banking at Credit Suisse and an uptick in mobile banking mean job cuts are inevitable. 

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