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JOBS

Foreigner jobless rate continues to increase

The official unemployment rate in Switzerland edged higher for the second consecutive month in November to 3.2 percent from 3.1 percent in October driven again by an increase in jobless foreigners, government figures released on Tuesday show.

Foreigner jobless rate continues to increase
Jobless rate by canton. Graphic: Seco

The overall rate was unchanged from a year earlier, the State Secretariat for Economic Affairs (Seco) said in its monthly report.

But the number of people registered for unemployment with regional placement offices rose by 4,155 from October to 136, 552, the report said.

The percentage of unemployed foreigners jumped to 6.1 percent from 5.8 percent, while the rate of Swiss jobless remained unchanged at 2.2 percent, Seco said.

By nationality, the Portuguese showed the highest number of unemployed at 11,344 for a rate of eight percent, followed by citizens from Italy (8,005, 4.9 percent) and Germany (6,914, 3.8 percent).

A total of 11,260 citizens from the western Balkans were registered as unemployed, amounting to 6.8 percent of the Balkan worker population in Switzerland, figures showed.

Overall, foreigners accounted for 47 percent of the registered unemployed in the country last month.

The canton of Geneva continue to record the highest jobless rate at 5.3 percent, unchanged from the previous month, while the canton of Obwalden posted the lowest rate (0.9 percent, up from 0.8 percent).

In Zurich, Switzerland’s biggest job market, the rate remained unchanged at 3.3 percent.

The canton of Valais recorded the sharpest increase in unemployment to 4.2 percent from 3.8 percent.

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

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WORKING IN SWITZERLAND

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

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