More than half of Swiss people worry about unemployment. Other top concerns are immigration, retirement and asylum issues, according to a survey.
For its annual Worry Barometerexternal link, published on Tuesday, Swiss bank Credit Suisse surveyed 1,010 voters around the nation – asking each person to select five top concerns from a list of 34.
The results: 51% cited unemployment, followed by immigration issues (40%), retirement provisions (37%), refugees (26%) and health (23%).
Unemployment has topped the list every year since 2003.
“There is a high correlation between the actual unemployment rate and the perception of unemployment as a concern. We are far from the record highs posted in 1993 (89% – unemployment 4.5%) or, more recently, in 2010 (76% – 3.9%), although the current unemployment rate is quite high at 3%,” stated the report.
Concerns about unemployment rose by seven percentage points, retirement by eight. But worries about personal safety dropped by seven percentage points, leaving just 17% of those surveyed to cite that as a top fear.
The authors of the Worry Barometer said that the three-percentage-point increase in the fear of immigration was probably due to February’s vote to curb immigration.
“The higher the number of foreigners living in Switzerland (currently at 23.8%, and even higher among 20–39 year-olds at 33.2%), the more respondents indicate that it is an issue that worries them,” the report said. Specifically, asylum issues are a worry among 26% of those surveyed, down two percentage points from last year – and much lower than in 2004, when a record 45% said asylum seekers were a problem in Switzerland.
Angst about healthcare is far lower than when 64% of respondents said it worried them in 2001 – a record year.
The report’s authors attributed the current 23% figure to the “successful battle against rising health insurance premiums”, adding, “It will be interesting to see how this ranking changes next year when premiums are set to rise again.”