Labour market dynamics: entries and 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 as well as births and deaths. They create a link between labour market statistics and population statistics.

The labour market situation at the beginning of the year is compared with the situation at the end of the year. In the balance, the distinction is made between two groups of movements: on the one hand, the movements within Switzerland (entries and departures of economically active persons), and on the other hand, immigrations and emigrations of economically active persons. The difference between immigrations and emigrations is the net migration.

Labour market accounts 2022

In 2022, Switzerland’s economically active population increased by 2,2%, from 5.374 million at the start of the year to 5.494 by the end of 2022. The increase was higher among men than women (men: +2.6% to 2.975 million; women: +1.9% to 2.520 million).

Entries and departures of economically active persons

Apart from 2003 and 2004, labour market entries (change from “economically inactive persons” to “economically active persons”) exceeded labour market departures (from “economically active persons” to “economically inactive persons/deceased”) between 1995 and 2018. The opposite was observed between 2019 and 2021 (more departures than entries). In 2022, more departures than entries took place again. There was a difference of 47 000 economically active persons (311 000 entries compared with 264 000 exits). Between the mid-1990s and 2016, women’s labour market entries have greatly exceeded their departures. From 2017 to 2021, entries were almost equal to departures or the difference was even negative. 2022, the balance was positive again (16 000: 162 000 entries and 145 000 departures). Among men, entries have largely been offset by departures since the mid-1990s. However, they also show an important increase in the balance in 2022 (31 000: 149 000 entries and 118 departures).

Trend in net migration

In 2022, the net migration of economically active persons was 73 000 in total, therefore more persons have immigrated than emigrated. The trend in net migration of the past years is a reflection of sustained immigration of foreigners. Between 2010 and 2022, the number of foreign workers migrating to Switzerland was continuously higher than the number of those leaving the country, with a net migration of 79 000 persons in 2022. Conversely, the net migration of Swiss nationals in the observation period practically always showed a negative balance. In 2022, it stood at -5000.

Statistical sources and concepts


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