Switzerland sees surge in cross-border commuters
More than quarter of a million cross-border foreign commuters were working in Switzerland in the last quarter of 2011, new statistics show.
With some 259,000 people crossing over to Switzerland to work, commuter figures were up 11.5 percent on the same quarter a year earlier, according to the Federal Statistics Office.
Over the last five years, the number of cross-border commuters has risen by a third, up from 194,000 in 2006.
Some eighty percent of cross-border workers travelling to Switzerland commute to jobs in three regions: 33.7 percent in the Lake Geneva area, 25.6 percent in north-western Switzerland, and 20.8 percent in Ticino.
The figures also showed that more than half (52.7 percent) of all cross-border workers live in France, compared to 22.8 percent in Italy, 21.1 percent in Germany, and 3.2 percent in Austria.
Three groups were heavily over-represented in the five-year statistics: The number of office workers increased by 71.4 percent, unskilled workers by 67.2 percent, and top-level managers by 52.1 percent.
While Switzerland saw a general increase in jobs for unskilled workers and managers over the period, the swelling numbers of office employees came at a time when the number of people in office jobs fell by 11.5 percent.