One in eight workers in Switzerland are 'low-income earners'

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One in eight workers in Switzerland are 'low-income earners'
Swiss streets are not paved with gold. File photo: Depositphotos"

A total of 12 percent of full-time employees in Switzerland had an income of less than 4,335 Swiss francs (€3,900) a month in 2016, making them low-income earners, according to new figures from the Swiss Federal Statistics Office (FSO).


While that percentage is slightly down from the 12.8 percent figure clocked up in 2008, there were still 473,000 people working in so-called low-paid jobs in the expensive Alpine nation in 2016.

Read also: Three Swiss cities named Europe's priciest for foreign workers

The FSO classifies all jobs where people work full time and earn less than two thirds of the median Swiss salary as ‘low income’. In 2016, the cut-off was 4,335 francs.

The sectors with the highest percentage of low-paying jobs were retail and hospitality (including gastronomy and accommodation).

Women (17 percent) were more than twice as likely as men (7.2 percent) to have low-income salaries.

Foreigners make up majority of low-income earners

Foreigners also made a huge proportion of this group, occupying 53.8 percent of all low-paid jobs in the country in 2016 although they made up just 32.9 percent of the total workforce.

A total of 19.1 percent of foreign workers in Switzerland were low-income earners, compared to 8.9 percent of people with a Swiss passport.

However, another recent set of Swiss government figures suggested there was little difference between the wages of foreign workers in Switzerland and the resident population.

That study into the impact of the Swiss–EU freedom of movement treaty on Switzerland also revealed that some groups of foreign workers actually earn more than Swiss citizens and the country’s permanent residents.

Read also: Confirmed - Swiss companies can still hire Brits after no-deal Brexit


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