Swiss jobless rate rises again in January

Unemployment in Switzerland rose in January for the fifth consecutive month, according to official government figures released on Tuesday.

Swiss jobless rate rises again in January
Photo: Seco

The rate increased to 3.5 percent from 3.4 percent in December, the State Secretariat for Economic Affairs (Seco) said in its monthly report.

As of January 31st, a total of 150,946 people were registered as unemployed at regional job placement offices, 3,577 more than a month earlier.

This number was down by 1.5 percent (2,314 people) from January 2014, Seco said.

The jobless rate of foreigners increased to seven percent from 6.8 percent in December but was below the 7.1 percent recorded in January 2014.

The rate of unemployed Swiss nationals rose to 2.4 percent from the previous month and remained unchanged from a year earlier.

The cantons of Valais (5.8 percent, unchanged) and Neuchâtel (5.8 percent, up from 5.6 percent) shared honours for the highest rate in the country.

The canton of Obwalden (0.9 percent, down from 1.1 percent) registered the lowest jobless level.

In Zurich, Switzerland’s largest job market, unemployment edged up to 3.6 from 3.5 percent.

The rate also increased in Geneva to 5.5 from 5.4 percent and in Basel-City to 4.1 from 3.9 percent.

For a look at the complete report (in French, German or Italian) click 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