- Housewives made up 2.7 percent of the Swiss population in 2020.
- This is shown by the new labor force survey by the Federal Statistical Office (FSO).
- In addition, more than every fifth person is now retired, significantly more than at the beginning of the century.
In the past 20 years, the share of the workforce in the Swiss population has hardly changed: Compared to the year 2000 with 67.9 percent, it was 67.4 percent in 2020.
Clear developments among housewives and pensioners
The number of pensioners shows a clear change: 22.7 percent of Swiss women and men will retire in 2020. That is 14.6 percent more than 20 years ago.
The change among housewives and housemen is still clear. These now make up 2.7 percent of the resident population, 60 percent less than in 2000.
Fewer self-employed people, more unemployed
According to the International Labor Office (ILO), the labor force includes self-employed people, working family members, employees, apprentices and the unemployed. Since 2000, the proportion of unemployed has increased from 1.8 to 3.3 percent. The proportion of people in training, on the other hand, fell from 3.3 to 2.8 percent.
Difference in unemployment and unemployment rates
The unemployment rate should not be confused with the unemployment rate of the State Secretariat for Economic Affairs (Seco). Even if the unemployment rate receives more public attention, the unemployment rate is more informative for many economists. Because the unemployment rate only includes people who are registered as unemployed with the regional employment offices (RAV).
In contrast, the unemployment rate records the unemployed according to the standards of the International Labor Organization (ILO). According to this, unemployed is someone who is out of work, has actively looked for a job in the last four weeks and would be available to take up a job within two weeks. This regardless of whether the person is registered as unemployed with a regional employment service center (RAV). Because of these related differences, the activity rate is usually higher than the unemployment rate.
The traditional model of farmer and shopkeeper families with self-employed and working family members is much less common than it was 20 years ago. The number of self-employed people fell from 10.2 to 8.1 percent, that of family members who work from 1.6 to 1.2 percent of the total population. On the other hand, the proportion of employees has risen from 50.4 to 52.5 percent.
Second highest labor force participation in a country comparison
With a participation rate of 67.4 percent, Switzerland is in second place in a European comparison – 10.6 percentage points above the EU average. The neighboring countries of Switzerland have a significantly lower labor force participation: Germany 61.6, Austria 60.8, France 54.5 and Italy 48.5 percent. Insel is in first place with 79 percent.
In contrast, the unemployment rate – the share of the unemployed in the 15 to 74-year-old labor force – in Switzerland rose from 4.4 percent in 2019 to 4.8 percent in 2020. This corresponds to an increase of 9 percent. In the European Union, on the other hand, the rate rose by only 6 percent, from 6.7 to 7.1 percent.