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Workers get older

The Swiss workforce is getting older, with 28 per cent of the working population aged 50 or more, up from less than a quarter in 1996.

The Federal Statistics Office expects this trend to continue, with one in three workers belonging to the over-50s category by the middle of the century.

The services sector is where the increase was most significant, increasing from 21 to 26 per cent for the 50-64 group.

In the public administration more than a third of employees are in this range, in education the share is 29 per cent and in health and social affairs it is 27 per cent.

Between 1996 and 2007 the number of older workers in the industrial sector fell slightly, mainly because of fewer jobs being available.

Switzerland, along with Scandinavian nations, has a high number of older people who work – 70 per cent of over-50s have a job – whereas in the European Union this figure is only 58 per cent on average.

Early retirement is also on the rise, with one in five workers likely to leave their job before they have to.

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SWI swissinfo.ch - a branch of Swiss Broadcasting Corporation SRG SSR