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Percentage of men in workforce declines in Switzerland

Recently published figures show a 7% decline in the percentage of men in Switzerland’s workforce between 1991 and 2018.

Finished work

© Volker Husberg _ - Click to enlarge

The workforce figures, which include the unemployed, show a fall in male workforce participation from 81% to 74%, a 7% decline over 27 years.

At the same time, the percentage of women working rose 6% from 57% to 63% from 1991 to 2018. Across both genders workforce participation declined 0.5% from 1991 to 2018.

The largest drop for men was among those under 24 (-4.5%). The next biggest decline was among men older than 64 (-3.9%) and men aged 55-64 (-3.9%), with smaller drops for men aged 29-39 (-2.1%) and men aged 40-54 (-3.1%).

Despite living longer, a smaller percentage of both men and women over 64 are in the workforce. The percentage of men in this age group working in 1991 was 20%. By 2018, it was 16%. And while more women between the ages of 24 and 64 are working, the percentage over 64 working fell 2.7% from 11.3% to 8.6% from 1991 to 2018.

Among those out of the workforce, the biggest rise was in pensioners. In 1991, pensioners made up 50% of those not working or seeking work. By 2018, they made up 70%.

Life expectancy at 65 in Switzerland grew by 3.2 years for men between 1997 and 2017 and by 2.1 years for women. In 2017, life expectancy at 65 in Switzerland was 19.7 for men and 22.5 for women.

Another significant shift was a drop in the percentage of home makers (-22%) among those out of the workforce. Among women this percentage dropped by 29 percentage points from 43% to 14%.

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