Recommended by the EU, the activity rate is one of the most important labour market indicators. Stable labour market participation considerably enhances a person’s chances of integration. The closer the activity rates of the different population groups are, the greater the trend towards equality of the two groups in labour market participation - at least in terms of quantity and without taking into account the specific situation of each economic sector. Wide disparity in the activity rates can be interpreted as an indication that the labour standards usually and currently in place in Switzerland are not being respected.
Overall, the activity rates of people aged 15 to 64 with different migration statuses were close in 2018. However, the activity rate is slightly lower in the population with a migration background from the first generation and from the second or subsequent generations than in the population without a migration background (83% and 82% compared with 85%).
The opposite holds true when observing the activity rates in full-time equivalents (FTE). They are higher in the population with a migration background than in the population without a migration background. The first generation shows higher rates (75%) than the population without a migration background (73%).
Whereas among men, the activity rate and the activity rate in FTE show the same tendencies by migration status, the situation is different among women.
Men from the second or subsequent generations show not only the lowest activity rate but also the lowest activity rate in FTE (86% and 82% respectively). Men from the first generation show the highest activity rates (90% and 88% for the activity rate in FTE). Those without a migration background show slightly lower rates (88% and 86%).
Among women, differences are seen depending on the type of activity rate considered. Although women without a migration background show a higher activity rate (82%) than women with a migration background regardless of the generation observed (77% for the first generation and 78% for the second generation), the same women show the lowest activity rate in FTE (60% compared with around 61% for the first generation and for the second or subsequent generations).
Between 2012 and 2018, the activity rates and the activity rates in FTE of 15 to 64 year-olds rose in all of the population groups observed (without a migration background, first generation migrants and the second or subsequent generations).
Growth in the activity rates varied in the different population groups: the second or subsequent generations from the population with a migration background saw the weakest increase (+0.6 percentage point), whereas it was strongest for the population with a migration background from the first generation (+2.4 percentage points).
Regarding the activity rate in FTE, the increase was strongest among the first generation (+2.8 percentage points), whereas it was once again weakest among the second and subsequent generations (+0.5 percentage point).
In Espace Mittelland, Northwest Switzerland, Zurich and Central Switzerland, the population without a migration background shows a higher activity rate than the first and second generations from the population with a migration background. In Eastern Switzerland, the second or subsequent generations have the highest rate. In Lake Geneva region and Ticino, the first generation from the population with a migration background has the highest rate.
In terms of the activity rate in FTE, the first generation shows the highest rate everywhere, with the exception of Espace Mittelland, Eastern Switzerland and Central Switzerland where the rates of the second generation lie ahead of the other groups.
With activity rates of 76% and in FTE, of 66%, the population without a migration background living in Ticino has the lowest figures. The highest figures are found among the population with a migration background from the second or subsequent generations living in Central Switzerland: 88% and 80% (FTE).
The activity rates indicate the labour market participation of the population aged 16 to 64 by migration status. However, they make no distinction between people working full-time or part-time. This information is completed by the activity rates in full-time equivalents, which take into account the work-time percentage.
Economically active persons includes employed and unemployed persons as defined by the ILO. Economically active persons constitute the labour supply. The reference population is the permanent resident population aged 15 to 64.
The activity rate of 15-64 year-olds is the proportion of people participating in the labour market (employed persons) in the reference population.