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Skilled labour shortage in the Basel region

Skills shortage in the Swiss labour market has been routinely monitored, analysed and discussed for many years – and it has been addressed too. At the Federal level, the administration has launched the Skilled Worker Initiative; cantonal authorities are taking note of this issue as well. The Office of Economy and Labour (AWA) of the Canton of Basel-Stadt has now analysed detailed data for the Basel region that offers a comprehensive picture of the region’s skilled labour shortage by occupational categories.

15 occupations with acute skilled labour shortage in the Basel region in 2017

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Note: The Basel region is made up of the Cantons of Basel-Stadt, Basel-Landschaft and Solothurn. Professions are defined based on the International Standard Classification of Occupations (ISCO-08) and identified according to ISCO-08 level triple digit codes. Occupational titles may include abbreviations, corresponding ISCO-08 codes are added in parentheses.

The evaluation by the Office of Economy and Labour (AWA) of Basel-Stadt suggests that in 2017, skilled labour shortage in the Cantons Basel-Stadt, Basel-Landschaft and Solothurn was particularly acute in two professional sectors: in the so-called MINT field (Mathematics, Information Technology, Natural Sciences and Technology) and in the health sector. Supply and demand of professionals in the Basel region mirror the overall situation across Switzerland.

Low unemployment in shortage occupations

The evaluations of skilled labour shortage should also be looked at in the context of the unemployment rate. For instance, if a particular occupation suffers from acute skills shortage in times of relatively high unemployment, this normally indicates an imbalance in the labour market that requires solutions different from addressing skilled labour shortage only. Our findings do not support this thesis, as no such mismatch was found: In most of our region’s occupations with acute skills shortage, the actual unemployment rate for 2017 was below the overall average rate of 3,1%. Measures against skilled labour shortage hence must focus primarily on consolidating and increasing the number of skilled experts in the corresponding occupational categories.


About the author

Natalie Mayer
Research Associate
Specialist Department Principles of Economics

Areas of expertise
Economic Analysis; focus areas: Skilled Labour Shortage, Labour Market, Foreign Trade

Contact and further information

Anna-Marleen Plume

Head of Specialist Department