Today in Switzerland: A roundup of the latest news on Thursday
Citizenship training courses, Swiss wages, and other developments in The Local's short roundup of the news.
Revealed: The most popular employers in Switzerland
The annual ranking of best Swiss companies by Randstadt recruiting agency shows, not surprisingly perhaps, that watch and chocolate manufacturers take three top positions.
Survey respondents rated employers based on criteria they found most important, such as salary and benefits, pleasant working environment, work-life balance, and job security.
This is the ranking of the top-10 winners:
- Patek Philippe
- Lindt & Sprüngli
- Flughafen Zürich AG
- Swatch Group
- Swiss International Air Lines
- Pilatus Flugzeugwerke AG
- Swiss Federal Railways
- Raiffeisen bank
Ticino ‘citizenship courses’ sell out in a flash
Getting a spot in a citizenship training course, which is mandatory in the canton before foreigners can apply for naturalisation, is more difficult than obtaining tickets to a much-in-demand rock concert.
Once they open for enrolment, the courses, which are given every six months, sell out within hours, according to Ticino online (Tio) news portal.
Enrolment for the next course, which opened on Tuesday and “closed at lightning speed, left dozens of people out”, Tio reported.
“They should plan more courses”, a disgruntled would-be participant stated the obvious.
“They” do. The current number of programmes, around 50 a year, could be increased in 2023 to accommodate more applicants, according to the Institute of Continuing Education, which is responsible for organising the courses.
Wages in Switzerland fell last year
Nominal wages in Switzerland declined slightly — by 0.2 percent — in 2021 due to the Covid pandemic and inflation, according to new data from the Federal Statistical Office (FSO).
This is the first decline since the Swiss wage index was introduced in 1942.
At the same time, inflation rose by 0.6 percent in 2021. In real terms, employees in Switzerland had to accept a drop in their purchasing power of 0.8 percent.
The prices of second homes are soaring in Switzerland
If you are thinking of buying a holiday home in the Swiss Alps, you should probably wait a while.
The reason is that in 2021, prices for holiday homes and apartments experienced their strongest increase in 12 years — 10 percent more than 2020 — according to a new real estate study from UBS bank.
The greatest increases were observed in Graubünden and Obwalden.
“You can see a boom all over the Alpine regions,” said Maciej Skoczek, real estate expert at UBS.
For the first time since data collection started 15 years ago, no region in the Swiss Alps has recorded a drop in second home prices.
Not only that, but “fourteen of the destinations studied recorded double-digit growth”, Skoczek added.
By far the most expensive tourist destination is St. Moritz in Graubünden, where prices per square metre reach mind-boggling 19,500 francs, or 11 percent more than the previous year.
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