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A psychological description of the Swiss labor market from 1991 to 2014: Occupational interest types, gender, salary, and skill level

Andreas Hirschi

Ghetta, A., Hirschi, A., Herrmann, A., & Rossier, J. (2018). A Psychological Description of the Swiss Labor Market from 1991 to 2014: Occupational Interest Types, Gender, Salary, and Skill Level. Swiss Journal of Psychology, 77, 83-94. doi:10.1024/1421-0185/a000206


This study aimed at conducting 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). Results based on data of the Swiss Labor Force Survey showed that realistic occupations consistently represented the largest share of jobs over this period, 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 could be found on the Swiss labor market as well, with most men working in realistic, and most women in social, occupations. Further, we observed large salary differences between the six occupational types, even when controlling for required skill level. In line with findings concerning gender pay inequalities, men earned more than women in each RIASEC occupational type in each year. We moreover found that RIASEC occupations differed meaningfully with regard to skill level, and that required skill level increased across all RIASEC occupations over the examined 23-year period.


Keywords: Swiss labor market, occupational interest types, RIASEC, gender, salary, skill level

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