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What is it like to work in Switzerland?

Switzerland has a strong economy, low inflation, low national debt and a low unemployment rate. It’s hard to believe that only a few generations ago, Switzerland was poor and many had to leave to find work abroad. The labour market has dramatically transformed since then and continues to change.

In the 19th century, the country’s textile and chemical industry started taking off, followed by the machine industry and the banking sector. But it was only after World War II that people living in poor cantons stopped seeking work in other countries as a matter of course.

Today Switzerland has become an internationally popular workplace, with jobs in information services, finance, or pharmaceuticals as well as in the clothing or gastronomy sector. It’s home to many global companies and international organisations. The average wage for a full-time job is CHF6,500 ($7,190) per month. But the cost of living in Switzerland is high. 

A major factor in the stability of the Swiss workforce is the country’s vocational education and training system. Although unemployment rose in 2020 due to the pandemic, Switzerland generally has one of the lowest youth unemployment rates in Europe, which in 2019 amounted to around 4.58%.  

In this episode of ‘Switzerland Explained’, find out how and why the job market has evolved and where Swiss employers are placing their bets for the future.

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SWI - a branch of Swiss Broadcasting Corporation SRG SSR

SWI - a branch of Swiss Broadcasting Corporation SRG SSR