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Salary increases to hit 10-year high

Household incomes should be boosted by about five per cent Keystone

Swiss workers are to get their biggest salary increases for 10 years, pushing employers' wage bills up by SFr12.5 billion ($7.5 billion) in 2001.

The figures, released by the Swiss Economics Ministry, constitute a increase of about three per cent over the previous year.

The ministry says average household income should rise by around five per cent when tax discounts and other savings are taken into account.

Trade unions have welcomed the boost in salaries but say that there is still room for improvement.

“With this salary round, unions have managed to close the gap in cost of living increases that was refused by employers in the nineties,” said Paul Rechsteiner, the head of the Swiss Association of Trade Unions.

But he added that discrepancies remained because employers continued to judge salaries on an individual performance-related basis.

swissinfo with agencies

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SWI - a branch of Swiss Broadcasting Corporation SRG SSR