Watchmakers boost numbers

The Swiss watchmaking industry has reported a ten per cent increase in staff last year as exports reached record levels.

This content was published on June 25, 2008 - 11:17

The employers organisation said 48,835 people worked in the watchmaking sector, up 4,391 on 2006, and the number of companies rose by more than five per cent to 627 firms, mainly in the northwestern Jura region.

The watchmaking industry has repeatedly complained about a lack of trained personnel in the past few years.

The sector, which saw its heyday in the first half of the 20th century, was hit by a crisis in 1987, when the number of employees dropped to just under 30,000.

The watchmaking industry exported nearly SFr16 billion ($15.4 billion) worth of goods abroad last year, according to the Federal Customs Office.

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