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ICT industry

The ICT industry is booming and there is still export potential out there.
The ICT industry comprises both the professional field (ICT staff in various sectors) and the core sector itself. Although, for example, it took a number of years for the ICT sector to again reach the employment levels from the peak of the dotcom bubble, just 18 months afterwards there were as many ICT employees spread across all the sectors. However, the strong domestic market obscures the fact that in parts, export opportunities are still not being fully leveraged.

Concerning the current status
The ICT industry is a driver of the Swiss economy, both in terms of the value it creates as well as employment (excl. the “ICT hardware and sales” sub-sector). Given its cross-sector reach, growth in the ICT profession benefits the entire economy and, in turn, all sectors.

«Given the ongoing wave of digitalization, Switzerland’s prosperity largely depends on the health of the ICT industry; this goes beyond the ICT sector itself and thanks to the new, well-paid jobs it creates, more than makes up for any job losses caused by structural changes.» 

State of digitization in topic ICT industryFortschritt der Digitalisierung im Themenfeld ICT industry

15.03.201621.11.2017

Measurement parameters


Gross value added

Employment in IT services

Employment in telecommunications

Employment in ICT hardware and sales

Employment in the ICT professional field

Trend towards ICT service exports

Gross value added

Gross value added is the main economic value used to determine the economic performance of a sector. If digitalization is to be leveraged as an opportunity, the sector itself must grow at an above-average rate and provide growth stimulus to ICT-using industries.

Calculation: The change in real gross value added was determined for 50 sectors over a period of five years. This smoothing period helps to eliminate sharp fluctuations in the measurement parameter. The gross value added by the ICT sector is then compared against the Swiss average (acute need for action) and the 75th percentile (need for optimization). The 5th/95th percentiles are used as minimum/maximum values so as to give less weighting to extremely small sectors with very large changes in growth.

Data source:

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01.01.201621.11.2017
Employment in IT services

Irrespective of the gross value added, the number of jobs (employment percentage, FTE) is relevant for the population. It is only possible to leverage the potential of digitalization if all three ICT sub-sectors (IT services, telecommunications, ICT hardware and sales) are strong drivers of employment.

Calculation: The change in employment in full-time equivalents was determined for 50 sectors over a period of four years. This smoothing period helps to eliminate sharp fluctuations in the measurement parameter. Employment in IT services is then compared against the Swiss average (acute need for action) and the 75th percentile (need for optimization). The 5th/95th percentiles are used as minimum/maximum values so as to give less weighting to extremely small sectors with very large changes in growth. The three employment values in the sub-sectors of the ICT sector only account for 8.33% (instead of a quarter) of the total value of the topic.

Data source:

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01.01.201421.11.2017
Employment in telecommunications

Irrespective of the gross value added, the number of jobs (employment percentage, FTE) is relevant for the population. It is only possible to leverage the potential of digitalization if all three ICT sub-sectors (IT services, telecommunications, ICT hardware and sales) are strong drivers of employment.

Calculation: The change in employment in full-time equivalents (FTEs) was determined for 83 sectors over a period of four years (sectors with fewer than 1,000 employees were not taken into account). This smoothing period helps to eliminate sharp fluctuations in the measurement parameter. Employment in IT services is then compared against the Swiss average (acute need for action) and the 75th percentile (need for optimization). The 5th/95th percentiles are used as minimum/maximum values so as to give less weighting to extremely small sectors with very large changes in growth. The three employment values in the sub-sectors of the ICT sector only account for 8.33% (instead of a quarter) of the total value of the topic.

Data source:

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01.01.201421.11.2017
Employment in ICT hardware and sales

Irrespective of the gross value added, the number of jobs (employment percentage, FTE) is relevant for the population. It is only possible to leverage the potential of digitalization if all three ICT sub-sectors (IT services, telecommunications, ICT hardware and sales) are strong drivers of employment.

Calculation: The change in employment in full-time equivalents (FTEs) was determined for 83 sectors over a period of four years (sectors with fewer than 1,000 employees were not taken into account). This smoothing period helps to eliminate sharp fluctuations in the measurement parameter. Employment in IT services is then compared against the Swiss average (acute need for action) and the 75th percentile (need for optimization). The 5th/95th percentiles are used as minimum/maximum values so as to give less weighting to extremely small sectors with very large changes in growth. The three employment values in the sub-sectors of the ICT sector only account for 8.33% (instead of a quarter) of the total value of the topic.

Data source:

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01.01.201421.11.2017
Employment in the ICT professional field

Irrespective of the gross value added, the number of jobs (employment percentage, FTE) is relevant for the population. In addition to employment in the ICT sector, digitalization also creates jobs in all other sectors in particular, as ICT is relevant everywhere as a cross-sector topic. This means the Swiss job market will only benefit from digitalization if it is able to continually grow the number of ICT employees. This makes it possible to compensate for jobs lost by increasing efficiency as a result of digitalization in other professional areas.

Calculation: The change in employment in full-time equivalents (FTEs) was determined for 40 professional areas over a period of five years (professional areas with fewer than 10,000 employees were not taken into account for statistical reasons). This smoothing period helps to eliminate sharp fluctuations in the measurement parameter. Employment in IT services is then compared against the Swiss average (acute need for action) and the 75th percentile (need for optimization). The 5th/95th percentiles are used as minimum/maximum values so as to give less weighting to professional areas with very large changes in growth.

Datenquelle:

  • BFS SAKE, definition of professional area according to ILO / OECD
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01.01.201521.11.2017
Trend towards ICT service exports

If Switzerland wishes to actively shape digitalization, it must be and remain internationally competitive. A measure of this can be found in the level of ICT service exports. If it is possible to export an above-average amount of services (in comparison to the proportion of value added for the service sectors), there is a greater chance of safeguarding jobs and prosperity in Switzerland over the long term.

Calculation: The Swiss National Bank surveys service exports, although it is not possible to survey individual sectors. This means, for example, that ICT service exports from banks (typically to their subsidiaries abroad) are also taken into account.

To put this absolute figure into context, the national accounts (Volkswirtschaftliche Gesamtrechnung; VGR) are used. Here the proportion of the service sectors’ gross value added accounted for by the ICT sector is used. If the proportion of service exports is lower than the proportion of added value from services, there is an acute need for action, as the exports of the ICT sector and the non-ICT sector are counted. If the proportion of service exports is twice as high, there is a need for optimization. The target value is a proportion of service exports that is three times as high, as this corresponds to the employment situation in the ICT professional field (1/3 in the ICT sector, 2/3 in all other sectors).

Data source:

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01.01.200021.11.2017

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digital.swiss, Andreas  Kaelin Neu

Andreas Kaelin

Managing Director - ICTswitzerland 
President - ICT-Berufsbildung Schweiz

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Zukunft digitale Schweiz: Den Wandel gemeinsam gestalten

Eine neue Studie von economiesuisse, unterstützt durch den Think Tank W.I.R.E., präsentiert eine Auslegeordnung zur Digitalisierung und zeigt auf, welche drängenden Fragen und Themen die Schweiz prioritär diskutieren muss, um als Siegerin aus dem digitalen Wandel hervorzugehen. Die breit angelegte Studie ordnet die aktuellen Entwicklungen ein, analysiert Stärken und Schwächen der Schweiz, entwirft Szenarien für künftige Wachstumsfelder und bildet damit den Startschuss zu einer Reihe vertiefender Publikationen von economiesuisse zur digitalen Wirtschaft und den damit verbundenen politischen Rahmenbedingungen.

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