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Latest statistics Switzerland: a nation of workers

Farmers were found to work the most hours per week


The Swiss worked almost 8 billion hours in 2016 – that’s 1.4% up on last year. They regularly work over 41 hours a week. Compared to other European nations, that’s a lot.

The reason for the rise in hours in 2016 was an increase in the number of people working and the leap year, the Federal Statistical Office said in a statement on Thursdayexternal link.

According to the statistical office’s calculations, weekly hours worked by full-time employees totalled 41 hours and 10 minutes in 2016. This was a decline of 13 minutes on 2011.Not included were the self-employed.

Those working the most were farmers, forestry workers and other primary sector employees. They did 44 hours and 40 minutes a week. Also hard workers: people employed in catering (42 hours and 7 minutes).

The number of weeks of annual holiday continued its gradual increase to 5.12 weeks.

Europe’s top workers

A comparison with European Union nations using Eurostat figures, contained in the media release, showed the non-EU Swiss coming out on top in terms of hours worked.

Here Swiss full-time workers were totted up 42 hours and 48 minutes a week – the discrepancy with the Swiss stats being put down to different survey methods, the statistical office said. The average weekly hours clocked up by workers in the EU28 was 39 hours 36 minutes.

graphic work hrs eu

Number of hours per week worked, comparison with EU28

Number of hours per week worked, comparison with EU28

But taking into account both full-time and part-time workers, Switzerland fell down to near the bottom of the EU table with 36 hours and 12 minutes. This is due to the high number of part-time workers, the statement said. Some 45.6% of women work part-time in Switzerlandexternal link, with only the Netherlands showing a higher rate (61%).

The EU28 average in this case was 36 hours and 36 minutes. Greece topped the table at 40 hours and 54 minutes. and agencies/ilj

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