Unemployment, underemployment and vacancies

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SLFS 2020 in Brief

SLFS 2020 in Brief

The SLFS in Brief informs a wide audience of the main indicators of the Swiss Labour Force Survey (SLFS). The brochure provides information on the Swiss labour market with international comparisons (Labour force participation, unemployment and underemployment, retirement and working life).

Labour market indicators

Labour market indicators for 2020

Labour market indicators for 2020. Comments on findings for the period 2014-2020

Unemployment, underemployment and vacancies

The unemployment indicators presented here are based on the definition of the International Labour Office (ILO). ILO unemployed refers to a person who does not have a job, has looked for a job during the previous four weeks and is available to work. These indicators offer the advantage of allowing international comparisons to be made and are not directly influenced by revisions to the law on unemployment insurance. Unemployment indicators are also published by the State Secretariat for Economic Affairs (SECO). They only concern unemployed persons registered at regional job offices and offer the advantage of being readily available and allowing detailed results to be obtained, notably by canton.

However, the unemployment indicators do not provide a full picture of the non-exploited potential workforce. In order to describe the labour market situation more exhaustively, the FSO has developed supplementary indicators to unemployment that are comparable at international level, namely:

  • underemployed persons, i.e. employed persons who work part-time who would like to work more and are available for a job with a higher work-time percentage.
  • persons looking for a job who are unavailable for work (PRE-ND): economically inactive persons who are actively looking for a job but are not available in the short-term.
  • persons who are available for work but are not looking for a job (PD-SRE): economically inactive persons who would like to be profes­sionally active and are available for work but are not actively looking for a job.
  • NEETs aged 15 to 29: persons not in education, employment or training.

Lastly, as regards the business statistics, you will find indicators for the employment forecast, vacancies and recruitment difficulties.

Statistical sources and concepts

On this topic

ILO unemployed

ILO unemployed by various characteristics

Registered unemployed persons (SECO)

Links to the indicators developed by SECO


Federal Statistical Office Section Labour Force
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CH-2010 Neuchâtel
+41 58 463 64 00

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