Dynamics of the economically active population: arrivals, departures, migrations

Labour Market Accounts (LMA) help us understand labour market dynamics. These statistics provide information regarding individual transitions between employment, unemployment and inactivity. The LMA also show migration flows. They create a link between labour market statistics and population statistics.

Labour market accounts 2019

In 2019, the number of economically active persons in Switzerland increased by 0.2%, from 5.319 million at the start of the year to 5.332 million by the end of 2019. Growth was more pronounced for women (+0.4%, from 2.438 million to 2.449 million) than for men (+0.1%, from 2.881 million to 2.883 million).

Labour force overview1), in '000 (Domestic concept)
  2015 2016 2017 20184)r 2019
Total
  Labour force on 1. Jan. 5 104 5 194 5 237 5 273 5 319
 + Entering labour force2)  303  294  288  287  270
 - Leaving labour force3)  267  281  285  279  295
 + Labour force immigration  159  147  147  162  159
 - Labour force emigration  105  117  119  125  121
 = Labour force on 31 Dec. 5 194 5 237 5 268 5 319 5 332
         
  Labour force on 1. Jan. 2 766 2 814 2 833 2 859 2 881
 + Entering labour force2)  145  134  137  136  119
 - Leaving labour force3)  127  129  138  133  139
 + Labour force immigration  99  90  98  97  99
 - Labour force emigration  69  75  74  79  77
 = Labour force on 31 Dec. 2 814 2 833 2 856 2 881 2 883
         
  Labour force on 1. Jan. 2 338 2 380 2 404 2 414 2 438
 + Entering labour force2)  158  161  151  152  151
 - Leaving labour force3)  141  152  147  146  156
 + Labour force immigration  61  58  49  65  60
 - Labour force emigration  36  42  46  46  44
 = Labour force on 31 Dec. 2 380 2 404 2 412 2 438 2 449
1) The population shown here is composed of the permanent and non-permanent resident population. Cross-border commuters who are newly active in Switzerland are counted in the immigrations and those who have stopped their activity are counted in the emigrations.
2) This category refers to persons whose status changed from "outside the labour force" at the start of the year to "in the labour force" by the end of the year.
3) This category refers to persons whoses status changed from "in the labour force" at the start of the year to "outside the labour force" by the end of the year as well as those who have passed away.
4) The difference between employed persons on 31 December of the previous year and on 1 January can be explained by the revised values of the statistical sources.
r: revised values
Source: FSO - Labour market accounts (LMA)

Trend in net migration

In 2019, the net migration of economically active persons was 38.000.
The trend in net migration of the past ten years is a reflection of sustained immigration of foreigners. Between 2009 and 2019, the number of foreign workers migrating to Switzerland was continuously higher than the number of those leaving the country, with a net migration of 43.000 persons in 2019. Conversely, the net migration of Swiss nationals shows a negative balance (-6.000).

Statistical sources and concepts

Contact

Federal Statistical Office Section Labour Force
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Switzerland
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