Global Employer Services News

Switzerland - Labour migration to Switzerland continues apace

Immigration from the European Union to Switzerland has been very important for the Swiss labour market during the last 20 years. The EU agreement on the free movement of persons allows Swiss employers to access the potential labour force abroad more easily. There is a continued demand for highly qualified and specialised workers. The recruitment of craftsmen and sales staff from the EU has been important for the Swiss economy as well. At the same time, the Swiss population is significantly better qualified than it was 20 years ago and is engaged in more demanding positions.

Since free movement immigration is strongly concentrated on working-age individuals, it has had a major effect in counteracting the aging of the Swiss domestic population over the past 20 years.

The demographic aging of societies throughout Europe is leading to heightened international competition for skilled and qualified employees. Switzerland's attractiveness for foreign workers appears unchanged. In 2022, net immigration under the free movement of persons principle, as well as cross-border employment increased strongly compared to the previous year, against a backdrop of strong labour demand and historically low unemployment. This momentum continued in the first half of 2023.

Janine Bienz
Jeannine Tobler
BDO in Switzerland