Employment and Industry

Attractive and central

Aargau is one of Switzerland's most important industrial centres. Aargau's businesses, large and small, are extremely diverse and benefit from the vibrant innovation landscape and renowned educational and research institutions.

Do you like chocolate or potato crisps? Many of our favourite products are produced in Aargau. Join us on a short voyage of discovery in Aargau as a centre of employment and industry

From Aargau to the world

Aargau numbers a total of 45'000 companies. The majority are small and mid-sized enterprises (SMEs) and trade or craft businesses. A large number of international groups and hidden champions with an international focus are based in Aargau or have major production facilities and research institutions in Aargau.

Likewise, Aargau SMEs are not only active and successful in Switzerland but also internationally.

Zweifel factory
Crisps and snacks made in Aargau: The most well known crisps and snacks are manufactured in Spreitenbach. © Zweifel
castle of Feldschlösschen
Refreshment from the castle: Feldschlösschen, Switzerland's largest drinks retailer, is in Rheinfelden in Aargau. © Feldschlösschen
two people working on a small helicopter
Innovation from Villmergen: Anavia AG builds unmanned helicopter systems for a very wide variety of flight missions. © Anavia AG
Person putting a contraption in an air vent
Good air from Aargau: Zehnder Group AG from Gränichen has been producing air conditioning solutions for more than 125 years and operates internationally in this business. Good air from Aargau: Zehnder Group AG from Gränichen has been producing air conditioning solutions for more than 125 years and operates internationally in this business. Good air from Aargau: Zehnder Group AG from Gränichen has been producing air conditioning solutions for more than 125 years and operates internationally in this business. © Zehnder Group AG
factory building inside
The Ferrum Group, headquartered in Schafisheim, manufactures for the international market and specialises in centrifuges and can seamers. © Ferrum Gruppe
Building with Miele written on it
Offers innovative kitchen and household products: Miele AG, with headquarters in Spreitenbach. © Miele AG
hydropower plant
Energy-charged: Axpo Holding AG, based in Baden, is Switzerland's largest producer of renewable energy. © Axpo Holding AG
Verschiedene Praliné Schokoladen. Weiss, Braun, dunkel mit Verzierungen. Auch welche in farbiger scheinender Verpackung, rot, blau und gold.
Sweet pleasure: the popular Swiss Frey chocolate is made in Buchs by Delica AG. © Delica AG
Business complex with modern buildings with glass facades
Active ingredient: Siegfried AG of Zofingen develops highly complex active substances and supplies medicinal products. © Siegfried AG
Factory complex in birds eye view
Of kitchens and coffee machines: the Aarburg-based Franke Group produces kitchen solutions and coffee machines for the international market. © Franke Group
brown buildings, one of them with Brack written on it
Only one click needed: BRACK AG is one of best-known online shops in Switzerland with its wide range of products. © BRACK.CH AG
View from above of the big hall full of boxes and machines.
Plastic made in Bremgarten: Georg Utz AG produces plastic containers and pallets for reusable logistics. © Georg Utz AG
Bird's eye view of a complex of buildings in a hilly green landscape, with a towering chimney that stands above everything and has white and red stripes at the top.
Products manufactured at the DSM factory in Sisseln include vitamins and pharmaceuticals for the world market. © DSM Nutritional Products, Produktionsort Sisseln
Picture of factory inside with lots of colorful pipes
DOTTIKON ES develops chemical processes with more than hazardous reactions and uses them to produce active pharmaceutical ingredients. © DOTTIKON ES
Picture of a street with buildings, one of them has ABB written on it
Full power ahead: as a leading engineering company based in Baden, ABB drives sustainable electrification forward.

Did you know that the largest chocolate manufacturer in Switzerland is based in Buchs in Aargau? That's Delica AG. Or did you know that the largest Swiss producer of renewable energies is headquartered in Baden? Axpo. Is your kitchen from Aargau as well? Maybe from Franke Holding of Aarburg, which sells its kitchen systems all over the world. Or medicines, vaccines or vitamin preparations – a lot of those come from Aargau. They are produced in Aargau by famous companies such as Novartis, Lonza, DSM, Siegfried and Dottikon ES Holding AG. Famous Aargau companies in the food sector are Feldschlösschen, Hero, Rivella and Zweifel. Neuhaus AG in Windisch supplies labels, Domaco in Lengnau manufactures glucose and cough sweets and Airex in Sins produces fitness mats for the global market.

Do you have a good business idea or would you like to develop your business further? The economic promotion organisation Aargau Services supports existing and potential companies' projects.

Well located, well rated

Aargau is an attractive business location. That isn't only our opinion as citizens of Aargau; the renowned rating agency Standard & Poor's and banks Credit Suisse and UBS say so as well. They give our canton top marks for creditworthiness and the location's attractiveness.

The international rating agency Standard & Poor's rates the Canton of Aargau's credit standing as AAA. This very good rating reflects the canton's commitment to finance policy: sharply falling debt levels, sound financial management, a moderate tax burden, limited financial risks, a strong economy coupled with a plentiful supply of skilled employees. Aargau has held a leading position in the CS and UBS ratings of the cantons for years because of its favourable location, excellent links and the moderate tax burden for private individuals.

Aargau is situated in the heart of the strongest economic region in Switzerland. It lies in the intersection of the main transport axes between the economic centres of Basel, Bern and Zurich. Its proximity to and close collaboration with Germany and France guarantee excellent links to Europe.

High tech and innovation

Aargau is one of the most important locations in Switzerland in the field of leading-edge technologies. Local industry is using artificial intelligence, nanotechnologies and advanced manufacturing to continue to play a role in the world market in the future. The high-tech companies established here operate in a number of industries: energy and electrical engineering, information and communication technology, plastics technology, the life science industry and medical technology as well as mechanical engineering and the metal industry are particularly prominent here.

Aargau is being reinforced as an industrial and research centre with the cantonal programme Hightech Aargau. Here, companies can benefit from the expertise and network of competent specialists. The Hightech Zentrum Aargau acts as a hub between academic research and industry, and financial support for research is available to companies thanks to the Forschungsfonds Aargau. The Park Innovaare in Villigen is the network location of the national innovation park. Companies benefit from their proximity to the globally famous Paul Scherrer Institute and its large-scale research facilities, where they can gain access to leading-edge research. The Technopark® Aargau in Brugg offers infrastructure and support specifically to technology-oriented startups.

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Research and development

The many companies in Aargau depend on skilled personnel. These are also trained in the canton, such as at the Fachhochschule Nordwestschweiz (University of Applied Sciences Northwestern Switzerland) based in Brugg-Windisch and at private research centres like the ABB-Forschungszentrum (research centre) or the Kunststoff Kunststoff Ausbildungs- und Technologiezentrum training and technology centre (KATZ). The University of Basel's Swiss Nanosciences Institut carries out research on behalf of Aargau in the field of nanotechnology. Aargau scores in the area of agriculture and nutrition with the Research Institute of Organic Agriculture.

An above-average share of all Aargau's workforce works in the field of research and development – twice the Swiss average. The Paul Scherrer Institute (PSI) in Villigen and Würenlingen is the biggest research institute for natural and engineering sciences in Switzerland. With around 2'100 employees, it conducts cutting-edge research in the fields of matter and materials, human health and energy and the environment. This unique science centre attracts more than 2'500 scientists to Aargau every year.

45'000 companies
346'000 jobs
27 % of employees in the industrial sector

More than an industrial canton

Aargau's economy produces goods and services to the value of more than 44 billion Swiss francs every year (2020). Industries shaping Aargau's business landscape include pharmaceuticals and chemicals, the electrical and engineering industry, commerce and construction. Because of its long and successful history in industry, Aargau is also referred to as an industrial canton. The industrial sector is very strong in Aargau to this day. Around 94'000 of its 346'000 employees work in industry, a share of 27 percent.

Active pursuit of more skilled workers

Frau, welche in die Kamera lächelt. Im Hintergrund verschiedene Kleider in Reinigung.

The Canton of Aargau actively strives to ensure that its companies find enough skilled employees. The Work Life Aargau job and information platform supports skilled workers in their search for employment and serves as an image platform for companies. Under the title of Kooperation Arbeitsmarkt (Employment Market Cooperation), the invalidity insurance agency (IV), SVA Aargau (Aargau's social insurance body) and the RAV (the regional employment centres) that belong to the AWA (Office of Economy and Employment) work intensively and systematically with interested municipalities to integrate more jobseekers into the employment market. This is unique in Switzerland.

Qualifications count, not age

With the campaign "Potenzial 50plus", the Canton of Aargau has been making companies and the public at large aware of the huge potential of jobseekers over 50 years of age since 2013. Although their unemployment rate is no higher than that of younger workers, they often need longer to find another job. For this reason, AWA has developed several offerings for them.

Would you like to help older people re-enter the employment market? Get in touch with Tandem Aargau. You will find important tips and support for jobseekers over 50 at Stellensuchende 50Plus.