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Switzerland – Recovery of Swiss staffing market in sight?

13 June 2012

In May, Swiss temporary employment volume declined by -6.8% when compared to the previous year, reports Switzerland’s federation of staffing agencies, Swiss Staffing.

The ‘swisstempindex’, which monitors Swiss trends in temporary staffing, revealed that the average decline in temporary employment since the beginning of the year was -10% from a year ago.

However, the decline in temporary staffing has eased when compared to April when it dropped sharply by -15.2% year-over-year. 2011 was a particularly strong year for the Swiss staffing market and the basis of comparison therefore needs to be taken into consideration when looking at each month’s decrease in temporary employment.

A decline in temporary staffing is not unique to Switzerland as several countries in Europe have been reporting negative growth rates since the beginning of the year.

Yesterday, it emerged that recent temporary billings dropped both in the UK and the Netherlands, two of the largest staffing markets in Europe. In the UK it has been speculated that this could be due to the Agency Worker Directive (AWD) which potentially increases costs and leads firms to hire more permanent than temporary staff. Yet in other countries such as Belgium and France, no major legislative changes can be blamed for the slowing activity.

But Swiss Staffing told Staffing Industry Analysts that a recovery of the temporary staffing market in Switzerland could still “likely” occur within this year despite the economy. In May, the Swiss labour market showed some signs of improvement as unemployment dropped to 3% from 3.1% in April, the Swiss statistics office SECO said last week.

Switzerland’s staffing market is distinctively different from its surrounding neighbours as it falls between the more fragmented German market and the more consolidated Italian one. 

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