A Psychological Description of the Swiss Labor Market from 1991 to 2014: Occupational Interest Types, Sex, Salary, and Skill Level

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This study conducted a representative analysis of the Swiss labor market from 1991 to 2014 by applying Holland’s (1997) classification of occupations according to six vocational interest types: realistic, investigative, artistic, social, enterprising, and conventional (RIASEC). Using data from the Swiss Labor Force Survey, we found that, over this period, realistic occupations consistently represented the largest share of jobs, albeit with a declining tendency. Increased numbers of people were employed in social and enterprising types of work. The lowest numbers were found in artistic and investigative occupations. Gender segregation along the six RIASEC occupational types were found on the Swiss labor market as well, with most men working in realistic and most women working in social occupations. Furthermore, we observed large salary differences between the six occupational types, even after controlling for required skill level. In line with findings concerning gender pay inequality, men earned more than women in each RIASEC occupational type in each year. Moreover, we found that RIASEC occupations differed meaningfully with regard to skill level, and that the required skill level increased across all RIASEC occupations over the examined 23-year period.

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