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 2018

In 2018, the number of economically active persons in Switzerland increased by 0.7%, from 5.268 million at the start of the year to 5.306 million by the end of 2018. Growth was more pronounced for women (+0.9%, from 2.412 million to 2.433 million) than for men (+0.6%, from 2.856 million to 2.873 million).

Labour force overview1), in '000 (Domestic concept)
  2014 2015 2016 2017r 2018
Total
  Labour force on 1. Jan. 4 994 5 104 5 194 5 237 5 268
 + Entering labour force2)  326  303  294  288  287
 - Leaving labour force3)  276  267  281  285  279
 + Labour force immigration  168  159  147  147  160
 - Labour force emigration  108  105  117  119  130
 = Labour force on 31 Dec. 5 104 5 194 5 237 5 268 5 306
         
  Labour force on 1. Jan. 2 727 2 766 2 814 2 833 2 856
 + Entering labour force2)  142  145  134  137  136
 - Leaving labour force3)  135  127  129  138  133
 + Labour force immigration  102  99  90  98  96
 - Labour force emigration  70  69  75  74  82
 = Labour force on 31 Dec. 2 766 2 814 2 833 2 856 2 873
         
  Labour force on 1. Jan. 2 267 2 338 2 380 2 404 2 412
 + Entering labour force2)  184  158  161  151  152
 - Leaving labour force3)  140  141  152  147  146
 + Labour force immigration  66  61  58  49  64
 - Labour force emigration  38  36  42  46  48
 = Labour force on 31 Dec. 2 338 2 380 2 404 2 412 2 433
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 2018, the net migration of economically active persons was 30.000. It was responsible for 78% 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 2008 and 2018, the number of foreign workers migrating to Switzerland was continuously higher than the number of those leaving the country, with a net migration of 35.000 persons in 2018. 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

Generations on the labour market

Selected labour supply indicators from a generational perspective

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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