800.000 jobs in Switzerland will be left unfilled by 2030, study predicts

800.000 jobs in Switzerland will be left unfilled by 2030, study predicts

By the end of the decade, up to 800.000 jobs in Switzerland are expected to be left unfilled, a new study by the University of St. Gallen and Advance has claimed. Experts warned that the shortage of workers is already “critical”, with the consequences of the staffing crisis set to cost the country billions.

Swiss worker shortage reaches critical levels

In the report, the university confirmed that the worker shortage is “at its highest level in Switzerland." Advance, an economic association which fights for workplace equality, added that the “situation is critical…never before have so many positions remained vacant for so long.”

Experts predicted that the situation will be exacerbated by the sheer number of older workers retiring and claiming pensions, at a time when demand for new workers is increasing. In all, they forecast that if current economic growth continues, Switzerland will face a shortage of 340.000 workers by 2025, and up to 800.000 by the end of the decade - one in seven jobs in the country would be left unfilled.

Worker shortage in Switzerland will cost billions

“The skills shortage is perhaps the most important challenge in the Swiss labour market today, and it comes at a high cost”, the report noted. If current shortages continue, experts predicted that Swiss Gross Domestic Product (GDP) will be 0,66 percent less a year - a loss of around 5 billion Swiss francs per year.

What’s more, the report argued that the current shortages will not be solved by new expats and internationals alone. They made the point that while new holders of residence permits will help “limit” the shortages, “Even with an influx of 50.000 specialists per year, we would still have 400.000 vacant positions by 2030.”

Migration and workplace equality are the way forward, Advance argues

Alongside maintaining rates of migration, Advance argued that the crisis will be solved by encouraging more women to work or work longer hours. They asserted that women are “underused” by Swiss employers despite holding excellent qualifications, adding that they are underrepresented in management positions, do more “unpaid work” than men and commit to fewer working hours than men after starting a family.

Advance claimed that around 230.000 jobs could be filled if men did half the unpaid work that women do, 87.360 more full-time positions could be occupied if both men and women worked fewer hours and 52.745 positions would be filled if stay-at-home mothers were given the help they need to return to the workforce.

“It is not a question of working more, but of using all talents and allowing all qualified people to contribute and participate in the labour market at rates of equal employment...Only by moving towards equality can we sustainably reduce the shortage of qualified workers to build a solid talent pool in Switzerland”, the study concluded.

Thumb image credit: Michael Derrer Fuchs /

Jan de Boer


Jan de Boer

Editor for Switzerland at IamExpat Media. Jan studied History at the University of York and Broadcast Journalism at the University of Sheffield. Though born in York, Jan has lived most...

Read more



Leave a comment