Expats continue hardest hit as jobless rate grows

Non-Swiss residents continue to suffer most from growing unemployment in Switzerland, government figures show.

Expats continue hardest hit as jobless rate grows
With jobless levels over four percent marked in red, map shows French-speaking cantons and Ticino are worst affected. Image: Seco

The overall jobless rate increased in November for the second consecutive month, rising to 3.2 percent from 3.1 percent in October and the same period a year earlier, the state secretariat for economic affairs (Seco) said.

The unemployment level among foreigners jumped to 6.2 percent, up from 5.8 percent in October and 5.6 percent in September, Seco said.

The rate among Swiss citizens inched up to 2.3 percent from 2.2 percent.

A total of 139,073 people were registered for unemployment benefits at the end of November, 5,630 more than a month earlier, Seco said.

The number of job seekers, meantime, rose 4.4 percent to 196,522 over the same period.

The number of advertised jobs fell by almost 11 percent to 11,568, a 27 percent drop from November 2012 when 15,876 vacancies were announced.

Schaffhausen was the only canton to record a drop in the jobless rate (2.8 percent, down from 2.9), with 18 cantons registering increases and seven unchanged.

Geneva continued to post the highest rate (5.5 percent, unchanged) while Nidwalden boasted the lowest rate (one percent, up from 1.1 percent).

The canton of Valais showed the highest increase in unemployment at 4.2 percent, up from 3.6, followed by Ticino (4.8 percent, up from 4.5).

The rate in Zurich rose above the national level to 3.3 from 3.1 percent, while in Bern it rose to 2.5 from 2.3 percent.

For the full report (in German, French and Italian) check here

Member comments

Log in here to leave a comment.
Become a Member to leave a comment.
For members


Which countries does Switzerland have working holiday visa agreements with?

Switzerland has made reciprocal agreements regarding working holiday visas with several countries. Here's what you need to know.

Which countries does Switzerland have working holiday visa agreements with?

Over the past few decades, countries around the globe have rolled out ‘working holiday visa’ agreements.

These visa schemes, largely targeted at young people, allow people to work and live in a particular country, usually for a set period of time and pursuant to certain conditions.

In recent years, Switzerland has expanded its own form of a ‘working holiday visa’, although there are some important differences to be aware of.

Unlike some of the better known schemes like those in place in Australia, applicants are discouraged from moving around and are generally required to stay with the one employer for the duration.

The goal of the visa scheme is to allow applicants to “expand their occupational and linguistic skills in Switzerland”.

The visa scheme runs for 18 months and cannot be extended.

Which countries does Switzerland have working holiday visa agreements with?

The agreements are made between countries, meaning your fate will depend on whether your government has at some point struck a deal with Switzerland.

EXPLAINED: What’s the difference between permanent residence and Swiss citizenship?

If you are from the European Union or an EFTA country (Iceland, Liechtenstein, Norway and Switzerland), then you will be able to live and work in Switzerland as is – and will not need to go through this process.

If you come from outside the EU, you will only be able to apply for this visa if you are a citizen of the following countries:

Australia, Argentina, Canada, Chile, Indonesia, Japan, Monaco, New Zealand, the Philippines, Russia, South Africa, Tunisia, Ukraine and the United States.

What does ‘reciprocal’ mean in this context? 

Where these agreements have been struck, they have entitled citizens of both countries to certain rights and permissions in the other country. 

However, while these arrangements might be reciprocal, they are not identical. 

For instance, while citizens of Australia can enter Switzerland and work, the rules for Swiss citizens in Australia are significantly different. 

Therefore, if considering each program, be sure to study all of the relevant details as these will change from country to country and from agreement to agreement. 

More information is available at the following link. 

EXPLAINED: How to get a working holiday visa in Switzerland