CH: Unemployment

Tue May 08 00:45:00 CDT 2018

Consensus Actual Previous Revised
SECO (NSA) 2.8% 2.7% 2.9%
SNB (SA) 2.9% 2.7% 2.9% 2.8%

The Swiss labour market tightened surprisingly sharply in April. The number of people out of work fell a hefty 10,632 or 8.2 percent to 119,781. This was enough to reduce the jobless rate by 0.2 percentage points to 2.7 percent, the lowest April reading since 2002.

April is seasonally a very good month for employment but even after adjusting for such factors, unemployment declined some 4,446 or 3.6 percent to 119,280. This put the adjusted rate at also 2.7 percent, a tick short of its downwardly revised March level. Moreover, there was also good news on vacancies which increased an adjusted 1.8 percent on the monthly for an unadjusted yearly gain of 19.1 percent.

Today's data are unexpectedly bullish about the state of the Swiss economy; all the more so given the slight deterioration in the labour market component of the latest SECO consumer confidence survey. This could mean that May will see some unwind but, if not, the GDP growth could surprise on the upside this quarter.

The unemployment rate measures the number of unemployed as a percentage of the labour force. Both seasonally adjusted and unadjusted monthly data are provided.

Like the employment data, unemployment data help 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.