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 2017

In 2017, the number of economically active persons in Switzerland increased by 0.6%, from 5.237 million at the start of the year to 5.268 million by the end of 2017. Growth was more pronounced for men (+0.8%, from 2.833 million to 2.856 million) than for women (+0.3%, from 2.404 million to 2.412 million).

Labour force overview1), in '000 (Domestic concept)
  2013 2014r 2015r 2016r 2017
Total
  Labour force on 1. Jan. 4 916 4 994 5 104 5 194 5 237
 + Entering labour force2)  304  326  303  294  288
 - Leaving labour force3)  294  276  267  281  285
 + Labour force immigration  169  168  159  147  147
 - Labour force emigration  101  108  105  117  119
 = Labour force on 31 Dec. 4 994 5 104 5 194 5 237 5 268
         
  Labour force on 1. Jan. 2 693 2 727 2 766 2 814 2 833
 + Entering labour force2)  129  142  145  134  137
 - Leaving labour force3)  134  135  127  129  138
 + Labour force immigration  106  102  99  90  98
 - Labour force emigration  66  70  69  75  74
 = Labour force on 31 Dec. 2 727 2 766 2 814 2 833 2 856
         
  Labour force on 1. Jan. 2 223 2 267 2 338 2 380 2 404
 + Entering labour force2)  175  184  158  161  151
 - Leaving labour force3)  160  140  141  152  147
 + Labour force immigration  63  66  61  58  49
 - Labour force emigration  35  38  36  42  45
 = Labour force on 31 Dec. 2 267 2 338 2 380 2 404 2 412
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. From 1991 to 2010, demographic data are taken from the statistics on the annual state of the population (ESPOP) and the statistics on the resident population of foreign nationality (PETRA). As of 2011, they are based on the Population and Household Statistics (STATPOP) which allows for the new processing of migrations. Thereby from 2011 onwards, persons who were already resident in Switzerland at the start of the year and those who are no longer part of the population at the end of the year are eliminated from the immigrations. In terms of the emigrations, persons who were not yet resident in Switzerland at the start of the year and are part of the population again at the end of the year are eliminated.
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.
r: revised values
Source: FSO - Labour market accounts (LMA)

Trend in net migration

In 2017, the net migration of economically active persons was 28.000. It was responsible for 88% of the total increase in the labour supply.
The trend in net migration of the past ten years is a reflection of sustained immigration of foreigners. Between 2007 and 2017, the number of foreign workers migrating to Switzerland was continuously higher than the number of those leaving the country, with a net migration of 33.000 persons in 2017. Conversely, the net migration of Swiss nationals shows a negative balance (-5.000).

Statistical sources and concepts

On this topic

Economic activity rate

Percentage of economically active persons in the reference population

Labour market status, employment status

Self-employed, family workers, employees, apprentices, unemployed based on ILO definition, economically inactive persons

Educational level

Links to education indicators

Economically active population scenarios

Future economically active population trend and economic activity rates for 2015-2045 period

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

Movements on the labour market and migration of economically active persons

Economically active persons by canton, districts, cities

Labour market status and activity status by canton

Contact

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

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