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Old 20.05.2011, 18:18
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State of the job market

With Swiss unemployment under 3.5%, it would seem like it's a job seekers market right now in Switzerland. However, many EF members have lamented about their inability to find work and consensus seems to be that it takes 3-6 months to find a job. In such a tight labor market, why does it take so long to gain employment.

I'm in NYC, which like the rest of the US is experiencing official unemployment rates ~ 9%. In NYC, the banking and finance sectors have been hit particularly hard. I have laid off colleagues, with plenty of experience ,who find themselves in an employers market and have been out of work for 12+ months.
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Old 20.05.2011, 18:35
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Re: State of the market

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With Swiss unemployment under 3.5%, it would seem like it's a job seekers market right now in Switzerland.
Maybe in other countries it would be considered a job seekers market but for Switzerland it's high unemployment. When I first landed on the shores of CH (mid 80's) national unemployment was around 1.2% with Zurich at only 0.9%..! Now those were the job seekers market days!
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Old 20.05.2011, 18:39
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Re: State of the market

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With Swiss unemployment under 3.5%, it would seem like it's a job seekers market right now in Switzerland. However, many EF members have lamented about their inability to find work and consensus seems to be that it takes 3-6 months to find a job. In such a tight labor market, why does it take so long to gain employment.

I'm in NYC, which like the rest of the US is experiencing official unemployment rates ~ 9%. In NYC, the banking and finance sectors have been hit particularly hard. I have laid off colleagues, with plenty of experience ,who find themselves in an employers market and have been out of work for 12+ months.
I believe that the reason why it takes so long to find gainful employment in Switzerland is because:
- the economy is based on forced aggregate demand - meaning that for every little stamp, leaflet etc. you are imposed with a fee and thus it employs people (sure)...but this only leads to a stagnant economy in terms of actual growth.
- it is a very protected market - meaning that there is little or no room for new ideas and entering a sector that is lead by incumbent monopolies is almost impossible
- Switzerland as a whole is a reactionary and slow moving country..the main driving force of the economy are the banks and the pharma industry and therefore, the velocity of monetary circulation is at a steady pace because of my first point mentioned. The real domestic demand is rather hindered by backwards thinking policies (no shopping on Sundays, opening hours, lack of freelancing activities within the domestic market etc.)
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Old 20.05.2011, 18:47
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Re: State of the market

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Maybe in other countries it would be considered a job seekers market but for Switzerland it's high unemployment. When I first landed on the shores of CH (mid 80's) national unemployment was around 1.2% with Zurich at only 0.9%..! Now those were the job seekers market days!
If you were in the same shoes now as back then, would you move to Switzerland again?
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Old 20.05.2011, 18:49
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If you were in the same shoes now as back then, would you move to Switzerland again?
I had to back then, I was a 2 legged souvenir..
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Old 20.05.2011, 18:51
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Re: State of the market

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I had to back then, I was a 2 legged souvenir..
Oh ok...beats the heck out of corny keyrings and t-shirts.

(I thought you were older )
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Old 20.05.2011, 19:50
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Re: State of the market

Market is not bad right now but there are also quite a few very qualified people who have lost their jobs back in 08/09 so even though there are a lot of positions advertised (my area is mid-senior IT Management field) there is huge competition internally and externally as everyone wants to live here.

We are approaching summer vacations at which point things will get very quiet. Beginning of the year is also the time when people leave jobs after pocketing (or not) their bonuses jumping on something new.

Senior manager should expect to be actively looking for 9-12 months these days while more junior positions take 7-9....generally speaking...
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Old 20.05.2011, 21:10
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Re: State of the market

It can take a long time but not always. Its just a rule of thumb, and to be prepared for the time it takes to search, you might however have an opportunity come by quickly, especially considering your dual citizenship.

Some of the reasons why I think it takes time include:
1. Long notice period. Many staff have to give three months notice to move jobs.
2. In no great rush. Many employers here prefer to find as close to a perfect fit and are prepared to wait for it, especially considering they are paying high wages and do not want to take high risk with incorrect fit where possible
3. Competition is high, so companies can afford to take their time to choose the best candidate.
As I said it can be faster, just depends on what opportunies arise for you, but it is definitely worth preparing youself for a bit of a wait if coming here without a job in hand.
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Old 20.05.2011, 23:50
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Re: State of the market

The official unemployment rate here does not give you a good indication of the job market. The job market here is very tight, (disclaimer - based on numerous discussion with my wife who is reasonably sicessful in the field of HR) because of the following reasons:
1. Swiss people are still recovering from the GFC so much shock and fear, rather than direct impact, in a consrevative country means a lot of people who would be seeking jobs are staying where they are.
2. So while unemployment is high the amount of people moving/changing jobs is low so the actual amount of positions available is still low in traditional terms.
3. Companies are expecting a lot more from their new employees, your resume must be perfect, extra education and vast experience (but no job hopping!!) to even be considered.
4. Management looks at the 3.5% and thinks they can get good candidates for less money, salaries have eased in the last couple of years.
5. Collectively this means the best resume will be required to get a look in and as we all know, some of the best performers do not have the best resumes so the best person for the job may not even be considered. Life experience (travelling, seeing the world, job hopping to find you place) counts for very little here. So it is more a matter of weather you are (over)qualified rather then weather you would be good in the role, a truly sad state of affairs.
6. Sales and marketing is the worst field of all, just because you have 3 degrees doesn't mean you are creative or can sell anything but that is the expectaction.

We are also in the time of baby boomers taking over sennior management, whilst they have got by with doing a good job without education or great resumes (and earned promotionsfor it!!) their expectations for those wanting to follow in their footsteps are a lot higher.
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Old 21.05.2011, 00:32
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Re: State of the market

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The official unemployment rate here does not give you a good indication of the job market. The job market here is very tight, (disclaimer - based on numerous discussion with my wife who is reasonably sicessful in the field of HR) because of the following reasons:
1. Swiss people are still recovering from the GFC so much shock and fear, rather than direct impact, in a consrevative country means a lot of people who would be seeking jobs are staying where they are.
2. So while unemployment is high the amount of people moving/changing jobs is low so the actual amount of positions available is still low in traditional terms.
3. Companies are expecting a lot more from their new employees, your resume must be perfect, extra education and vast experience (but no job hopping!!) to even be considered.
4. Management looks at the 3.5% and thinks they can get good candidates for less money, salaries have eased in the last couple of years.
5. Collectively this means the best resume will be required to get a look in and as we all know, some of the best performers do not have the best resumes so the best person for the job may not even be considered. Life experience (travelling, seeing the world, job hopping to find you place) counts for very little here. So it is more a matter of weather you are (over)qualified rather then weather you would be good in the role, a truly sad state of affairs.
6. Sales and marketing is the worst field of all, just because you have 3 degrees doesn't mean you are creative or can sell anything but that is the expectaction.

We are also in the time of baby boomers taking over sennior management, whilst they have got by with doing a good job without education or great resumes (and earned promotionsfor it!!) their expectations for those wanting to follow in their footsteps are a lot higher.
very good points and summary..

if you also consider that in most cases the CV's are screened by some junior HR assistant (or some 20 year or so intern)based on criteria such as age, nationality etc etc and than it is handed over to perhaps HR Manager who might glance at your CV looking at key words using some check list...it gets pretty depressing..so it is numbers and luck game unfortunately
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