Swiss job market defies strong franc worries

The official Swiss unemployment rate fell for the fourth consecutive month in June as Switzerland’s job market continued to defy concerns about the impact of the strong franc on the economy.

Swiss job market defies strong franc worries
Photo: Canton of Vaud

The jobless rate fell to 3.1 percent from 3.2 percent in May but remained above the 2.9 percent level recorded in June 2014, figures released on Tuesday by the State Secretariat for Economic Affairs (Seco) showed.

The decline was driven by a drop in unemployment among foreigners to 5.8 percent from 6.1 percent, while the rate for Swiss citizens remained unchanged at 2.2 percent, Seco said in its monthly report.

The number of people registered as unemployed at regional job offices fell in June by 3,093 from the previous month to 133,256.

The canton of Obwalden recorded the lowest jobless rate (0.8 percent, down from 0.9 percent), while Geneva had the highest rate (5.4 percent, down from 5.5 percent).

The rate in Zurich, Switzerland’s largest job market, remained unchanged at 3.4 percent.

The canton of Graubünden posted the biggest percentage drop in unemployment to 1.5 from two percent.

For full details of the report (in French, German 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