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Switzerland – Staffing market declines as joblessness rises

14 June 2013

Recruitment firms in Switzerland again saw weaker market conditions in May as new statistics show that temporary agency work dropped by -2.7% in the month when compared to a year ago. This is according to the Swiss federation of staffing companies (Swiss Staffing).

The Swiss staffing market has seen fluctuating demand with April showing an increase in temporary agency work. But the latest figures confirm that trading conditions in the country remain uncertain. “Since the beginning of the year, temporary agency work has declined by -2.1%,” the association said. “Temporary agency work has on average decreased by -1.3% in the past 12 months.”  April proved to be an exception as temporary agency work grew by +2.6% year-on-year.

Labour market data this week showed that Swiss unemployment climbed to 3.2% in May from 3.1% in the previous month, the highest level since 2010. The State Secretariat for Economic Affairs (Seco) said that the number of vacancies also declined during May. Economic forecasts now predict moderate growth in 2013 with unemployment expected to rise slightly.

“Against the background of the recession in the Euro zone the Swiss economy is continuing to perform relatively well, posting a marked, positive rise in GDP in the first quarter 2013, +0.6% compared with the previous quarter,” the Seco said.

Compared to other European countries, the Swiss market decline is relatively small as trading remains tougher in France, Belgium and the Netherlands where a slowdown in the recruitment sector has badly hit staffing firms. Staffing Industry Analysts’ forecasts for the European recruitment market show a mixed picture with most countries expected to moderately grow in 2013, including Switzerland. But the accuracy of these forecasts is dependent on an improving environment in the second half of the year.

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