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TODAY IN SWITZERLAND

Today in Switzerland: A roundup of the latest news on Wednesday

Find out what's going on today in Switzerland with The Local's short roundup of the news.

Today in Switzerland: A roundup of the latest news on Wednesday
Testing centres, like thid one in Bern, are becoming relics of the past. Photo: Fabrice COFFRINI / AFP

Task Force: Fewer infections due to fewer tests

As the number of daily cases continues to drop in Switzerland (by more than a half in the past three weeks), the Covid-19 Task Force sheds new light on the reason why this is so — at least partially.

It said lower numbers can’t be attributed entirely to drop in infections; it is also due partly to fewer tests being administered. This means some cases escape detection and are therefore not included in statistics.

Workers from France still make up majority of Switzerland’s cross-border employees

Slightly more than half of Switzerland’s cross-border workforce — 55.4 percent — live in France, according to new data from the Federal Statistics Office (FSO) covering the last three months of 2021.

The next largest group (23.7 percent) comes from Italy, followed by Germany (17.6 percent).

Over the past five years, the number of cross-border workers has increased from 312,000 in the fourth quarter of 2016 to 361,000 in the fourth quarter of 2021. This corresponds to a growth of 15.6%.

READ MORE: Switzerland: Cross-border workers may be penalised for working from home

What will become of Switzerland’s test centres?

During the pandemic, Covid screening centres shot up like mushrooms after the rain. They were not only necessary from the public health perspective, but also a lucrative undertaking, given that, depending on circumstances, tests were paid either by the government or individuals themselves.

But as tests and Covid certificates are no longer required in Switzerland, some testing centres will be closed or dismantled, while others will continue to operate, as unvaccinated people travelling abroad may still need to be tested.

However, many said they would be charging less than before for PCR and antigen tests. 

READ MORE: Switzerland: Do antigen tests detect Omicron?

Swiss job market on the upward trend

The rebound continues on the labour market in Switzerland, with the number of vacancies increasing by 6.7 percent between January and February.

All regions recorded positive growth in job vacancies, but the Lake Geneva region, which alone accounts for two-thirds of the jobs advertised in French-speaking Switzerland, recorded the strongest growth: 8.1 percent. Next is Zurich (7.9 percent), followed by central Switzerland (7.6).

The highest demand in the past month has been in the IT sector, including software development, programming, and network administration.

READ MORE: How to find English language jobs in Switzerland

If you have any questions about life in Switzerland, ideas for articles or news tips for The Local, please get in touch with us at [email protected]

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TODAY IN SWITZERLAND

Today in Switzerland: A roundup of the latest news on Tuesday

Unemployed foreigners, sexist work ads, and other news: find out what's going on today in Switzerland with The Local's short roundup of the latest happenings.

Today in Switzerland: A roundup of the latest news on Tuesday

Zug helps unemployed expatriates find new jobs

Out of the 1,300 current job seekers in Zug, a relatively high proportion of around 300 people are foreign employees. This is due to the fact that an above-average number of international companies — mostly in raw materials, chemical and financial services sectors — are based in the low-tax canton.

However, according to a report by public broadcaster SRF, finding a job is more difficult there because most foreigners in Zug are highly specialised in their fields and can’t easily switch from one industry to another.

The canton is now helping unemployed foreigners back into the job market — for instance, by setting up job fairs where job seekers meet recruiters and companies looking for personnel.

 “Zug is a very attractive job market, and if we help the unemployed expats, many can gain a professional foothold here again”, according to Gianni Bomio, president of the canton’s Association for Labour Market Measures.

READ MORE: MAP: Where do Switzerland’s English-speakers live?

Swiss bank blasted for sexist advert

Postfinance, a financial services unit of Swiss Post, is looking to hire software developers, but only those who  — according to an ad placed on the LinkedIn’s career platform  — “do not devote working hours to the fight for equality”.

Specifically, it seeks employees who want to work out “the difference between 0 and 1 and not between XX and XY” — the former referring to codes and the latter to male and female chromosomes.

While the advertisement was intended to be clever, “with this text, Postfinance is massively devaluing the fight for equality”, said Agota Lavoyer, an expert on sexualised violence.

In its defense, Postfinance responded that its ad was misunderstood.

“The message is that equality is firmly anchored in the culture at Postfinance and is so normal that employees do not have to spend any time on the job thinking about it”, said spokesperson Dörte Horn.

Now is a good time to sell your house

Property prices have skyrocketed in recent months, and a house today costs almost 30 percent more than a decade ago, according to real estate consultancy firm Iazi. And in certain high-demand areas like Zurich and the Lake Geneva region, prices are significantly higher.

Ruedi Tanner, president of the Swiss Chamber of Brokers (CSC) said owners who are selling their properties now “have clearly chosen a good time”.

The demand is such that “in many regions, there are hardly any more offers on the property market”, he added.

READ MORE: Swiss property prices see strongest rise in years

Idyllic Ticino village a hub of criminal activity

When the Italian-speaking canton published its annual statistics recently, many were astonished (and not in a good way) to discover that a small commune of  Riva San Vitale registered 791 crimes in 2021.

This means the crime rate has increased by 1313 percent compared to previous year. “When I read that, I was flabbergasted,” said Antonio Guidali, mayor of the 2,600-resident community.

It turns out, however, that there is no need to rush for bullet-proof vests; according to police reports, only two residents, who committed several hundred cases of insurance fraud, are to blame for the staggering crime rate.

The statistical anomaly occurred because each single case of fraud has been registered as an individual offense.

If you have any questions about life in Switzerland, ideas for articles or news tips for The Local, please get in touch with us at [email protected]

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