Switzerland to be short over 400.000 workers by 2040, report reveals

Switzerland to be short over 400.000 workers by 2040, report reveals

The Swiss Employers’ Association Economiesuisse has warned that the job market in the alpine nation faces a rocky few decades. As a consequence of continued economic growth, experts working for the body predict that if nothing is done, 431.000 jobs in Switzerland will go unfilled by 2040.

Switzerland will have to replace 8 percent of workforce by 2040

In a statement given to Blick, the association said that the country is not doing enough to compensate for more people retiring and fewer people having children in Switzerland. With the country already facing an acute shortage of staff, officials warned that the situation is only likely to get worse.

Economiesuisse president Christoph Mäder predicted in the statement that even if the number of jobs in Switzerland remains the same as today, the country will be short of 431.000 workers by 2040. He predicted that the country will have to replace “8 percent of today’s working population” to break even.

 "Around 130,000 jobs are currently open - this trend has become the biggest brake on the Swiss economy," noted association employment president Valentin Vogt. The association added that the shortage of workers will also affect Swiss taxes, with experts predicting that for the pension system to remain the same - without solving the employment crisis - every taxpayer will have to pay 2.000 francs a year more to pay for it by 2050.

Immigration only one of many solutions, says association

When it came to solutions, Econonomiesuisse argued that Switzerland must remain “a country of immigration”, noting that the high number of new expats claiming residence permits to work in the country is “clearly helping” to solve the issue. Therefore, the association argued against any attempts to make the visa and residence permit system more restrictive.

However, officials added that “immigration alone is not enough to master the challenge.” Specifically, the association called on the government to support innovation and reduce regulation in order to increase productivity.

Finally, the association called on businesses to make better use of the labour pool already in Switzerland. Their suggestions included promoting incentives that coax the elderly into working for longer and giving third-country nationals who have completed tertiary qualifications in the country the right to stay in Switzerland permanently - something already accepted by parliament

For more information, check out the official press release (in German).

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...

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