Work culture in Lausanne

Updated 2018-08-17 14:55

On the banks of lake Geneva, cosmopolitan and affluent Lausanne is the capital city of the French-speaking canton of Vaud – as well as an Olympic capital and the global capital of sports administration. Lausanne has a lot of professional opportunities, offering many career prospects to European and foreign expatriates. The local labour market is competitive but also diverse, so if you have the skills required, finding a job in Lausanne should not be difficult.

Economy & labour market

With a population of 300,000 inhabitants and 170,000 jobs positions, Lausanne is one of Switzerland's most important cities: the canton of Vaud's administrative center and the whole country's commercial, tourist and cultural center. Its economy is based on various sectors such as manufacturing, agriculture, construction, trade, mechanics, etc. Over the years, information and communication technology as well as financial services and insurance, have become important economic pillars for Lausanne.

Many big firms like Philip Morris and Nestlé have their headquarters in Lausanne. That being said, the local authorities favour the creation of small and medium enterprises in order to further boost the city's economy. Lausanne is also a point of reference in several fields of higher education: the University of Lausanne, the Federal Polytechnic School of Lausanne and many other higher education and vocational training institutes, all enroll thousands of Swiss and foreign students every year, paving the way for a new generation of highly qualified and skilled professionals.

With the rise of the tourism industry, there are also some undocumented, temporary work positions that may seem attractive to expats, but the canton of Vaud and the city of Lausanne would like you to be aware of the dangers of undeclared work which could lead to undercutting salary and abrupt termination. The Cantonal Employment Service are fighting against this phenomenon, ensuring that expats are allowed to work and that their wages are declared to social insurance and to the tax authority.

Job hunting

Lausanne's unemployment rate is slightly higher than some of the other big cantons, but it appears to be steadily decreasing ' dropping from a 6% in June 2017 to a 4.7% in June 2018. On average, the city has around 5,800 job seekers.

Lausanne's main recruiters are the health-care field, public administration, transports, and manufacturing. But jobs are also available for expats in the fields of information and communication technology, financial services and insurance, scientific and technical development, education and commerce. The City of Lausanne is also its biggest employer, with 5,000 employees in 400 different jobs.

Good to know:

Lausanne is in Switzerland's French-speaking region, so a good knowledge of French is not only advantageous but, in some cases, necessary. Although there are many multinational companies and banks who will simply require a perfect command of English, many of the local job-hunting tools and official websites are in French ' so it will help with your search to understand the language.

To find a job in Lausanne, you can check out classified ads in local newspapers and job websites. A recruitment agency can also help you find an appropriate job according to your skills and competencies.

Useful links:

Canton of Vaud Official website
Job Offers Canton of Vaud
Lausanne Official Website
Job offers in Lausanne
Salaries in Vaud

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