Swiss Staffingindex: Staff leasing sector recovers from impact of coronavirus in 2021
According to the Swiss Staffingindex industry barometer, the staff leasing sector ended 2021 up 11.6 percent. The need for staff in vaccination centers, testing centers and hospitals has seen the sector revert to a path of growth, as has the business situation in industry and construction, where temporary positions have quickly turned into permanent ones. In 2021, staffing service providers also saw new labor market trends triggered by the crisis. These include a boom in further training, and freelancers moving under the protective umbrella of temporary work. Despite this increase, the number of working hours rendered by temporary workers is 4.3 percent below pre-crisis levels and 9 percent below the peak of 2018.
Staff leasing as a driving force for the labor market
Following a slow start to the year, the sector then gained momentum in the second quarter of 2021 with an increase of 24.5 percent compared with the previous year. "The business situation stabilized more quickly than it ever has in any previous crisis," explained Leif Agnéus, the President of swissstaffing and External Relations and Public Affairs Director of Manpower. "We are seeing this because companies are exhibiting significant demand for temporary workers and then offering them permanent positions after a short period of time." Without this wealth of rapid permanent positions, the sector's growth could have increased even more strongly.
Staff leasing as a systemically relevant crisis resolution
The numerous vaccination and testing centers that opened in 2021 required large numbers of staff. Temporary workers helped numerous cantons to handle short-term peaks in demand with short, often uncertain lead times. In addition, highly qualified temporary workers were helping to combat the crisis in the background - whether by installing vaccination production lines, by developing tests and medications, or as administrative specialists. Temporary workers thus greased the gears of crisis management.
Labor market trends: further training and freelancers as temporary workers
Even though there were fewer temporary workers working in the sector as a result of the crisis, the temptraining equal-opportunities training fund continued to experience a boom throughout the period. Temporary workers thus took advantage of this transition phase to enhance their employability - whether by further developing existing strengths or by taking entirely new directions. There was a similar boom for highly qualified temporary workers: during the COVID crisis, freelancers have been facing the risk of unemployment and illness, which are generally not covered when self-employed (or cover is only available at an unaffordable price). The solution: an increasing number of freelancers are contacting staff leasing companies once they win a contract and then becoming employed as a temporary worker by their contracting entity. As a result, they gain full social security.
Positive outlook despite omicron wave
The CEOs of staffing service providers are extremely optimistic about the future. 72 percent expect the next six months to bring an increase in business, as demonstrated by an employee survey conducted by gfs-zürich on behalf of swissstaffing. "The omicron wave may have meant a good start to the year in the staff leasing sector," notes Marius Osterfeld, economist at swissstaffing. "Staff leasing companies are providing committed support to numerous companies that have lost employees to self-isolation, quarantine or care responsibilities. This may well have introduced numerous companies to the benefits of staff leasing."
More statistics can be found at this link.
Marius Osterfeld, Economist
Tel: 044 388 95 70 / 079 930 45 25
Blandina Werren, Head of Communications
Tel: 044 388 95 35