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EMPLOYMENT

Hear ye, here ye! This Swiss city is looking for a town crier

Can you carry a tune? Are you a night owl? If so, this job posting in Switzerland may be up right up your (cobblestone) alley. Here’s how you can submit an application for this… very high position.

Hear ye, here ye! This Swiss city is looking for a town crier
The hat and coat are optional for the job. Photo by Lausanne Tourisme

As far as unusual employment opportunities go, this one from Lausanne is — quite literally — tops.

The city, which employs one of Europe’s last remaining town criers, is looking for people to fill this position on part-time basis.

What’s a town crier?

In Lausanne’s case, it is a person who announces the hours every night between 10 pm and 2 am from the bell tower of the city’s imposing Gothic cathedral, a landmark overlooking the roofs of the picturesque Old Town.

The workplace: Lausanne Cathedral. Photo by Lausanne Tourisme

The person who will assume this position will continue a tradition that this city in the canton of Vaud has cherished since 1405.

These are the requirements for the job:

  • To watch over the city each night
  • Announce each hour on the hour between 10pm and 2am in a melodious voice (in French, but knowledge of foreign languages is a plus)
  • Be able to climb 53 stone steps to the cathedral’s bell tower
  • Not have a criminal record
  • No falling asleep on the job
  • Have a business apprenticeship certificate (we are not sure why)

This is 365-days-a-year job, but the new hire will share the position with other criers.

Interested? This is how you can apply.

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EMPLOYMENT

Almost one in ten live in poverty in Switzerland: Report

More than eight percent of Switzerland’s population live in poverty, while 12 percent struggle to make ends meet.

Almost one in ten live in poverty in Switzerland: Report
A number if people in Switzerland can't make the ends meet. Photo by Depositphotos

A study released by the Federal Statistical Office (FSO) on Thursday shows that 8.7 percent of Switzerland’s public – around 735,000 people – live in poverty, which is defined at 2,279 francs per month on average for a single person, and 3,976 francs per month for two adults and two children.

When adjusted for purchasing power, this threshold is the second-highest in Europe, topped only by Luxembourg.

 

The numbers are for 2019, so the impact of the Covid-19 pandemic is not yet included in the data.

The poverty rate in Switzerland is the highest it has been since 2014, the study found. 

Most financial difficulties were experienced by foreign nationals, people living in single-parent households, people without training, and those living in households impacted by unemployment, FSO reports.

Here are some of the study’s other findings:

  • For the 10 percent of the population with the lowest wages, this income was less than 25,868 francs in 2019. The median income has remained stable at around 50,000 francs. 
  • The poverty rate for the employed labour force was 4.2 percent in 2019. About 155,000 people were living below the poverty line, even though they were in paid work.
  • Just over 12.2 of the population said they had difficulty making ends meet, and 20.7 percent were unable pay an unforeseen expense of 2,500 francs in the space of a month . Of these, 15.1 percent had at least one payment arrears.

READ MORE: Switzerland’s economy forecast to recover 'from summer onwards' 

On the positive side, the country’s general standard of living remains among the highest in Europe.

It is estimated on the basis of the median disposable income, after adjusting for differences in price levels in various countries. 

In Switzerland, this income was 2.8 times higher than in Greece, 1.6 times higher than in Italy, 1.3 times higher than in France, and 1.2 times higher than in Germany and in Austria.

Despite the high price level in Switzerland, the standard of living was higher in Switzerland than in most of the EU countries.


 

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