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Jobless rate drops for third straight month

Switzerland’s unemployment rate fell in May for the third consecutive month as the country’s job market remained robust despite lingering concerns about the strong franc's impact on the economy.

Jobless rate drops for third straight month
Areas in red show cantons with the highest jobless rate. Image: Seco

The jobless rate dropped to 3.2 percent from 3.3 percent in the previous month but remained above the three percent level recorded in May 2014, the State Secretariat for Economic Affairs (Seco) said in its monthly report on Tuesday.

The number of people registered for unemployment benefits at regional job placement centres fell in May by 4,782 from April to 136,349, Seco said.

The job seekers total declined to 192, 798, 6,548 fewer than in the previous month.

Unemployment among foreigners dipped to 6.1 percent from 6.4 percent, while edging downward to 2.2 percent from 2.3 percent for Swiss citizens.

The jobless rate was highest in the canton of Geneva (5.5 percent, unchanged), while the canton of Onwalden registered the lowest rate (0.9 percent, unchanged).

The rate in Zurich, Switzerland’s largest job market, was 3.2 percent, down from 3.3 percent.

The canton of Valais recorded the biggest percentage drop in unemployment, falling to 3.8 percent from 4.3 percent.

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