Switzerland ranks highly in youth employment survey

A Swiss Post apprentice serves a customer in Basel Keystone

Switzerland has the second-best labour market for young Europeans behind Denmark, according to a ranking of over 30 countries. 

This content was published on October 19, 2017 - 19:46

Denmark came top, followed by Switzerland, Austria, Germany and the Netherlands in the latest KOF Youth Labour Market IndexExternal link, which analysed the year 2015. The ranking is produced annually by the Economic Institute (KOF) at the Federal Institute of Technology in Zurich (ETHZ).

Switzerland scored 5.71External link (on a scale of 1 to 7), comfortably above the European Union-28 average of 4.82. The index analyses the youth situation on the labour market using 12 indicators, subdivided into four categories: activity state, working conditions, education and transition smoothness. 

The report said the years from 2010-2015 saw small increases in the unemployment rate and in the so-called “NEET rate” [Not in Education, Employment or Training] in Switzerland. But these negative trends were accompanied by a moderate increase in education and training enrolment. 

“These mixed patterns suggest some possible countercyclical effects between labour market conditions and education for Switzerland,” the authors wrote. 

In 2015, unemployment for people aged 15-24 stood at 3.4%External link, according to the Secretariat for Economic Affairs (SECO).

Signs of improvement

The KOF said in general the job situation for Europe’s youngsters was starting to show “general signs of improvement” following the financial crisis. The southern European states of Italy, Spain, Macedonia, Greece and Croatia remained at the bottom of the table for 2015, but they all improved their scores on the previous year. 

These were “welcome signs of a slight recovery in the difficult aftermath" of the recession, KOF stated. 

Eurostat, the European Union’s statistics agency, said the number of jobless in August fell by 42,000 to 14.751 million. The unemployment rate held at 9.1%, its joint-lowest since February 2009. The unemployment rate in Switzerland in September remained unchanged at 3%. 

The International Monetary Fund Economic says growth in the eurozone is forecast at 2.1% in 2017 and 1.9% in 2018, reflecting an export revival, stronger domestic demand due to accommodative financial conditions and a lowering of political risk. 

The Swiss National Bank predicts growth of just under 1% this year in Switzerland. The State Secretariat for Economic Affairs (SECO) has downgraded its growth forecast for 2017 to 0.9%. SECO says it expected GDP growth to accelerate to 2% next year. 

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