The number of people crossing the border to work in Switzerland every day has slowed in the first few months of 2016. But big regional differences exist and a strong increase in workers from France continues.
During the first three months of the year, some 360,000 people travelled every day to Switzerland for work – a 3.7% increase over the same period last year. But this is only up 0.7% on the last quarter of 2015, according to the Federal Statistical Office’s latest figures published on Tuesday.
This represents the lowest increase in cross-border workers since 2010.
The Lake Geneva region continues to report big rises, however. The number of workers from France rose by 6.6% in the first quarter compared to a year earlier. This follows a 6.2% increase for the last three months of 2015.
The region now accounts for almost one-third of all of Switzerland’s cross-border workers.
Northwest Switzerland, including Basel, saw a 4.1% increase in cross-border workers, mainly from Germany. Zurich and eastern Switzerland also witnessed increases but total numbers are relatively low.
Biggest decline in Ticino
Italian-speaking canton Ticino in southern Switzerland, where one in four workers is foreign, recorded a fall of 0.5% in workers commuting from Italy – the third such decrease in a row. Similar downward trends were seen in 1999.
Across Switzerland more than half of cross-border workers live in France (54.4%), followed by Italy (22.8%) and Germany (19.5%). Over 60% work in the service sector.
In March 2015 the Federal Statistical Office reported 287,100 workers who come into Switzerland on a daily basis for work. In 2009 the number was 221,600 – that figure rose by 29.6% over the five years leading up to the end of 2014.
swissinfo.ch and agencies