Sulzer cuts 100 head office jobs in Winterthur

Sulzer, the Swiss industrial engineering and manufacturing firm, announced on Thursday that it is axing 300 jobs, including 100 positions at its Winterthur headquarters.

Sulzer cuts 100 head office jobs in Winterthur
Sulzer headquarters in Winterthur. Photo: Sulzer

The company said the administrative streamlining was part of a process that would cut costs by 25 million francs ($27.6 million) a year starting in 2014, although the restructuring process itself is expected to cost 25 million francs, largely to deal with the layoffs.

A consultation process is under way with employees in Winterthur, Sulzer said.

Other jobs will be cut at the company’s operations outside of Switzerland.

The company reported that order intake increased 1.8 percent to three billion francs ($3.3 billion) in the first nine months of 2013 compared to the same period a year earlier “while sales were on the same level”.

Sulzer’s pumps business accounts for more than half of its sales but the division has been hit by slow demand for wastewater pumps in Europe, the company said.

Meanwhile, the company said it is looking to sell its Sulzer Metco division, a surface coating equipment and services with customers, among others, in the automotive industry.

The process for the division’s “potential sale . . . is progressing well”.  

Sulzer is set to report full-year results for 2013 on February 20th 2014.

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Jobs: Why Zurich has rebounded better than other Swiss cities from Covid

The Covid pandemic hit Switzerland hard, although the country's largest city has rebounded strongly.

Jobs: Why Zurich has rebounded better than other Swiss cities from Covid

Measures imposed due to the Covid pandemic, which began in earnest in February 2020, shuttered businesses across the country and pushed many people out of work. 

When most notable Covid rules were relaxed in Switzerland in mid-February 2022, the economic recovery – highlighted by a strong job market – began in earnest in 2021. 

READ MORE: How the Swiss job market rebounded from the Covid pandemic

Nowhere was this more evident than Zurich, Switzerland’s largest and most economically powerful city. 

How did Zurich rebound from the Covid pandemic in comparison to the rest of the country?

Even though Zurich, along with other large Swiss cities like Geneva, Basel, Bern and Lausanne, have been hit hard by the pandemic from the employment perspective, Zurich’s labour market is now growing faster than in other urban centres.

One of the reasons for this upward trend is that young, well-educated foreigners are coming back.

In the first nine months of 2021, the city’s population grew significantly.

In September alone, it recorded 2,200 additional residents.

This is mainly due to people with a B residence permit, according to Klemens Rosin, methodologist at Zurich’s Statistics Office.

During the crisis, far fewer of them left the city. “This group is made up of well-educated, younger and mobile foreigners who have made a significant contribution to Zurich’s growth”, Rosin said.

Zurich’s employment market is expect to grow even further.

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That’s because in the coming years, many Zurich workers will retire — an estimated  210,000 by year 2050 — creating more job opportunities for younger employees.

In fact, according to a study commissioned by the canton in 2021, if Zurich’s economy is to continue to flourish, it will need around 1.37 million workers by mid-century.

If these vacancies will not be filled, then income, tax revenue and the financing of social security programs will be impacted.

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While it is difficult to predict what jobs will be most in demand in 2050 — what new technologies will emerge in the meantime — right now and in medium term, IT workers will be especially needed, experts say, because businesses will continue to to digitalise and automate.

Lower skilled jobs will also be in higher demand, including hospitality, retail and transport. 

With hundreds of thousands of vacancies to fill, people with the permission to work in Switzerland are likely to be flush with offers – particularly skilled workers with recognised qualifications. 

READ MORE: Why finding a job in Switzerland is set to become easier