CH: Employment

Mon Jun 04 02:15:00 CDT 2018

Actual Previous Revised
Level change (000) Q/Q 30,000 21,000 23,000
Level change (000) Y/Y 77,000 41,000

Compared with the end of 2017, employment expanded by a seasonally adjusted 30,000 or 0.6 percent to 4.987 million in the first quarter of the year. This was up from a slightly larger revised 23,000 rise in the previous period. In unadjusted terms, the increase was 77,000 versus a year ago, the fastest growth increase in ten years.

The quarterly advance was achieved via a 0.5 percent increase in goods producing industries (manufacturing 0.6 percent) and a 0.4 percent rise in services. Moreover, there was also good news on vacancies which expanded a further 2,500 on the quarter and 10,700 on the year. In part this reflected rising difficulties in recruiting staff, signalling rising pressure on capacity.

The first quarter employment barometer is consistent with the buoyancy shown in the national accounts released last week. The Swiss economy has gained significant momentum since early last year but a strengthening domestic economy and tightening labour market have yet to provide much of a boost to consumer prices. As such, the SNB will remain wary about abandoning its highly accommodative monetary stance prematurely.

The quarterly employment barometer is a survey of 18,000 businesses and service sectors encompassing approximately 65,000 establishments. It collects data on job vacancies, recruitment difficulties and the development of employment forecasts. The main focus is on the quarterly and annual changes in overall employment.

The employment data give a comprehensive report on how many people have jobs. These numbers are the best way to gauge the current state as well as the future direction of the economy. Employment data are categorized by sectors. This sector data can go a long way in helping investors determine in which economic sectors they intend to invest. By tracking the jobs data, investors can sense the degree of tightness in the job market. If employment is tight it is a good bet that interest rates will rise and bond and stock prices will fall. In contrast, when job growth is slow or negative, then interest rates are likely to decline - boosting up bond and stock prices in the process.