Swiss jobless rate falls below three percent

Unemployment in Switzerland fell below three percent in June for the first time in a year, according to government figures released on Monday.

Swiss jobless rate falls below three percent
Jobless rate in June by canton. Graph: Seco

The jobless rate dropped to 2.9 percent from three percent in May, the State Secretariat for Economic Affairs said in its monthly report.

A total of 126,632 unemployed were registered at regional job centres in June, down 3,678 from the previous month.

The decline marked the fourth month in a row that the jobless rate fell, although year-over-year it remained unchanged.

Unemployment among foreigners fell to 5.5 from 5.8 percent, while the rate for Swiss citizens remained unchanged at 2.1 percent, Seco said.

The jobless rate either dropped or remained unchanged in all cantons.

Geneva registered the highest rate (5.4 percent, down from 5.3 percent) while three cantons — Uri, Obwalden and Nidwalden — recorded the lowest rate of 0.9 percent.

The unemployment rate dropped to 3.1 from 3.2 percent in Zurich, Switzerland’s largest job market.

The cantons of Valais (3.3 percent, down from 3.8 percent) and Graubünden (1.3 percent, down from 1.8 percent) recorded the largest rate reductions.

The number of job vacancies advertised in regional job centres rose to 14,211 in June, up 1,054 from the previous month.

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

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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