An increase in unemployment coupled with a shortage of new jobs during the 1990s has led to a "slight downturn" in the Swiss economy, according to a report by the Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development. At the same time, Zurich has consolidated its position as the country's financial powerhouse.
The report stated that the relative economic parity that previously existed between Switzerland's major centres had slipped in favour of Zurich and the city's surrounding areas.
In terms of the distribution of wealth, Zurich was followed by Basel, Lucerne and central Switzerland, with the rest of the country "clearly less fortunate".
The OECD said French- and Italian-speaking parts of the country had been hit hardest by the slowdown in the jobs market. Border areas that relied on labour from neighbouring countries had suffered the heaviest job losses.
Figures produced by the OECD showed that the losses were 10 per cent higher in the west and south of Switzerland than the north and east of the country.
swissinfo with agencies