Underemployed persons and additional potential workforce

Labour force potential

In 2018, the untapped labour force potential in Switzerland comprised 830 000 persons, made up of 356 000 who were underemployed, 231 000 who were ILO unemployed and 243 000 persons who were part of the potential additional labour force (i.e. actively looking for work, but not immediately available, or vice-versa). The percentage of women was 63%.

Shortage of work

In 2018, 12% of economically active persons in Switzerland were affected by shortage of work. The work shortage rate consists of the underemployment rate (7.3%) and the unemployment rate based on the ILO definition (4.7%). The additional volume of work wished for by these persons corresponded to a total of 299 000 full-time equivalents (underemployed persons: 108 000 full-time equivalents; ILO unemployed persons: 191 000 full-time equivalents). At 16.6%, the work shortage rate of women is twice as high as that of men (8.0%).

Further information

Press releases


Statistical sources and concepts

On this topic

Unemployment, underemployment and vacancies

Overview and definition of unemployment, underemployment and vacancies

ILO unemployed

ILO unemployed by various characteristics


Federal Statistical Office Section Labour Force
Espace de l'Europe 10
CH-2010 Neuch√Ętel



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