Recommended as an indicator by the EU, unemployment indicates a lack of integration, of participation in or exclusion from a society’s wealth. It can also indicate a person’s lack of job-finding skills. This is one of the key indicators for measuring the level of integration. Exclusion from employment is one of the main causes of poverty. Long-term exclusion has negative consequences on almost every aspect of life. A narrowing of the gap between the unemployment rates of the different population groups would show that actual access to the labour market was tending to become more equal. Such a trend might also include underlying variables such as education, language, recognition of qualifications or the risks associated with labour market participation.
In 2018, the unemployment rate based on ILO definition was 5% in Switzerland. The population without a migration background has a rate of 3%; this is almost 3 times less than the population with a migration background (8%). The first generation has a rate of 8%, the second or subsequent generations 6%.
Between 2012 and 2018, no statistically significant change can be seen in the unemployment rates of the different population groups observed.
In each major region of Switzerland, the population with a migration background shows higher unemployment rates based on ILO definition than does the population without a migration background. The relative differences between these two groups range from 1:2:0 to 1: 2.4, peaking at 1: 3.7 in Espace Mittelland where the highest difference is found.
People aged 15 to 74 are considered as unemployed based on ILO definition if they were not employed during the reference week, if they were looking for work during the four previous weeks and were available for work. This definition conforms to the International Labour Organisation (ILO) and OECD recommendations and to the EUROSTAT definition. Unemployed persons based on ILO definition are also sometimes referred to as “unemployed according to international standards”.