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The Swiss Breitling Replica watch industry is hiring, even though the recruitment rate, like the Replica Watches market’s pulse, slowed in 2013. New jobs require increasingly specific skill sets.

Despite a small increase in exports last year, in the region of 2%, the Swiss Replica Watches industry is investing in the future and taking on new staff. Which is possibly the best measure of its economic health. At a time when Europe’s industrial fabric is unravelling, Swiss Rolex Replica watchmaking continued to recruit over the twelve months from September 2012 to September 2013. While these aren’t the latest statistics, nor the best ever, they do show that the sector is still expanding. Figures compiled by the industry’s employers association, the Convention Patronale de l’Industrie Horlogère Suisse (CPIH), for the period in question reveal that some 1,500 new jobs were created, a rise of 2.6%. By way of comparison, 4,255 new positions were filled in 2011 and 3,013 in 2012. The Swiss watch industry currently employs 57,286 people. According to the CPIH, there are two reasons why this latest increase falls short of previous years: a drop in exports to Asia and the strong Swiss currency. Swatch Group is pointing its finger squarely at the latter factor; it expects the currency effect to shave several hundred million Swiss francs from its accounts for the year.

So are these good times or bad? While pessimists will point to the hole, there is really plenty of donut to enjoy. How many industries can boast close to 10,000 job creations in the past three years? Outside of watchmaking, the picture is far less rosy. In this respect, the slowdown in the Replica Watches UK sector appears to be more the consequence of consolidation at a very high level and less the sign of a downward trend. After a decade spent frantically boosting production capacity, the sector should return to a similar level of intake as last year. The majority of future recruitments are likely to take place outside Switzerland, as engagements at Swatch Group and Richemont have shown for a number of years already.

20,000 jobs in 13 years

What do CPIH figures say close-up? First they reveal the phenomenal increase observed since the early 2000s. In 13 years, the sector has added a third as much again to employee numbers by creating close to 20,000 jobs. They also indicate demand for increasingly specific skill sets that require higher qualifications. Last year, the percentage of employees who hold a vocational diploma or with advanced training grew from 62.9% to 64.9%. Their number has continued to rise and now represents two-thirds of total employees compared with one third 20 years ago. A final indication that the sector is in robust health: the number of companies has also increased over one year, from 564 to 572 (+1.4%).

Information from other sources nonetheless suggests a different picture to CPIH figures. Swiss Omega Replica Watches Group, for example, announced 900 job creations in Switzerland last year. Similarly, the world’s number-two luxury group, Richemont, says that it hired an additional 800 people in Switzerland in 2013. Which would suggest that Omega Replica watchmaking’s two giants together created more jobs than reported by the CPIH for the entire branch. Even allowing for discrepancies between the timeframes for these various figures, observers can legitimately hesitate to take them at face value. Yet in much the same way that Replica Watches export statistics do not reflect sales to the end customer, and despite a lack of precise indications, the overall trend is clear.

What conclusions can we draw on these grounds? One is self-evident: that the major groups create the most new jobs, apparently leaving smaller enterprises with the crumbs. Of course the situation is not so black and white; companies such as Audemars Piguet have massively swelled their ranks in recent years too. Also, recruitment at small brands supplying niche markets, where production volumes are, by definition, lower, has only marginal impact on figures for the branch, which continues its upward trajectory and with the benefit of highly enviable industrial resources.