Switzerland 2022 Review: Record-breaking year for scientific jobs in Basel!

A new report with Cpl Life Sciences!

    • Scientific vacancies in Switzerland are behind 2021 levels 
    • February 2022 was the peak month for Pharmaceuticals
    • Drug Manufacturing is the fastest-growing scientific function, up 28.6% on 2021
    • Lonza was the busiest life sciences organisation in 2022

According to the latest UK Life Sciences Labour Market Trends report by Cpl Life Sciences and market data analysts Vacancysoft, key recruitment trends show that in 2022 there were over 3,600 new scientific vacancies published in Switzerland. This translates to a slight decrease from 2021, when it achieved over 3,800 jobs, resulting in a year-on-year fall of -6.2%.

A look at the top Swiss cities posting scientific vacancies shows that Basel topped the table in 2022. Indeed, the third most populated city in Switzerland achieved over 1,000 new jobs, surpassing the previous year’s totals. This constituted a year-on-year rise of 20.2% in relation to 2021, the fastest-growing among all Swiss cities.


Sarah Goddard, Switzerland Country Director at Cpl Life Sciences, commented:

“The Swiss biotech industry generated revenue of CHF 6.7B in 2021 compared to CHF 4.9B in 2020. This notable uptick was driven mainly by an increase in product sales, favourable one-time events from collaboration and licensing deals, as well as a general positive advancement of the product pipeline, causing regulatory approvals to continue at very high levels. Swiss biotechs raised CHF 3.33B—the second—best year in terms of financing. In total, CHF 2.51 billion were invested in public companies, including SOPHiA Genetics with CHF 234M (IPO & follow on), Bachem (CHF 584M), Idorsia (CHF 600M), CRISPR Therapeutics (CHF 229M) and Polypeptide (CHF 191M). The largest portion of the private capital, which in total amounted to CHF 817M, was raised by Anaveon (CHF 110M) and Numab Therapeutics (CHF 100M)”.


CROs experiencing the most significant monthly changes despite a decrease

If we look at the monthly average performance within Pharmaceuticals in Switzerland, we find that the peak month for scientific vacancies was February 2022, its 350 jobs representing a monthly rise of 34.6%. However, the most significant month-on-month change occurred in November 2022, when numbers fell from 236 to below 150 jobs, decreasing by -41.5%.

Interestingly, monthly hiring volumes for CROs hit record levels in January (166.7%) and May (130.8%). These were the fastest month-on-month changes across all life sciences sectors analysed, despite total volumes for CROs suffering a yearly drop of -23.5% compared to 2021.


Most of the top scientific functions failed to better 2021 volumes

In terms of the most in-demand skills in Switzerland’s Life Sciences industry, the most significant growth in the past year was experienced by Drug Manufacturing, registering a yearly rise of 28.6% compared to 2021.

However, the majority of the top scientific functions saw their volumes decrease this year: Laboratory topped the table in terms of volumes, with over 350 vacancies published in 2022, but these numbers represent a year-on-year decrease of -8%. Quality Assurance ranked second, followed by Quality Control (down 6.7% and 10.7%, respectively).


Remarkable growth for the healthcare multinational Roche

When analysing the top organisations hiring clinical talent in Switzerland, we find that pharmaceutical multinational Lonza retained its number one position, publishing over 400 scientific vacancies in 2022. However, this constitutes a year-on-year decrease compared to 2021, with volumes for the Basel-headquartered company dropping by -34%.

Novartis, another Swiss pharma giant, experienced a notable yearly rise of 22.4% in relation to 2021 volumes.

Moreover, the fastest-growing organisation among the top 5 in the past 12 months was Roche, which ranked second, achieving over 500 new scientific jobs and a year-on-year rise of 45.6% compared to 2021. 


Top firms, Scientific vacancies, Switzerland, 2020-22 (see report for Top 20)

Top firms Sector 2021 2022 YOY %
Lonza Pharmaceuticals 639 422 -34.0%
Roche Pharmaceuticals 371 540 45.6%
Novartis Pharmaceuticals 313 383 22.4%
Johnson & Johnson Pharmaceuticals 185 178 -3.8%
CSL Pharmaceuticals 186 156 -16.1%


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