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

Helena Bachmann in Geneva
Helena Bachmann in Geneva - [email protected] • 2 Nov, 2022 Updated Wed 2 Nov 2022 04:12 CEST
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On the job: a falcon chases away annoying (by human standards) birds. Photo by Alan Mersom on Unsplash

Consumers in Switzerland are pessimistic about the future, wages are set to increase, and other news in our roundup on Wednesday.

Consumer sentiment in Switzerland falls to a ‘historic low’

Swiss consumer index, which measures how optimistic (or not) consumers are about their finances and the state of the economy in general, is the lowest in 50 years, according to a new analysis released on Tuesday by the State Secretariat for Economic Affairs (SECO).

The consumer sentiment has reached its lowest level since the survey began in 1972, SECO reported. 

“For one thing, consumers' expectations on how the general economic situation is expected to develop over the next 12 months have become even gloomier”, according to the analysis.

“In addition, households have become even more pessimistic about their own financial situation than in the previous quarter” — especially as prices of goods and services continue to go up.

READ MORE: EXPLAINED: The groups most affected by inflation in Switzerland

Swiss wages are rising but gaps remain

On average, salaries in Switzerland will increase by 2.2 percent in all sectors combined, according to a new survey by the Swiss Economic Research Center (KOF).

In some sectors, however, salaries will go up by more or less than this figure. For instance, people working in hotels and restaurants will likely see their pay rise by 4.4 percent.

Those employed in the watch industry and data processing sector will also have “strong” pay hikes,

For employees in insurance and retail sector, however, the increase will be below 2 percent.

The KOF arrived at these figures through a survey in which 4,500 companies indicated how gross wages would develop in their companies over the next 12 months.

Researchers point out, however, that even the higher salaries may not go very far, “as an average household will need to spend about 3 percent more on all goods and services”, with other increases, including for electricity (over 20 percent on average) and healthcare premiums (6.6 percent on average) also taking a big bite of the household budget.

READ MORE: Switzerland: What can you expect to spend the most money on in 2023
 

United Nations: Switzerland should do better in terms of equality

The UN Committee of Experts has made dozens of recommendations to the Swiss government on how the country could become more egalitarian.

Among them are measures such as “further strengthening the economic autonomy of women”, as well as defining rape on the basis of the victim's lack of consent, thereby complying with international standards.

In fact, Swiss MPs are currently deliberating a reform of sex law, and the definition of rape is on their agenda for the winter session.  

On the other hand, the UN praised the reform of the Gender Equality Act and "Marriage for All". Also, the obligation for companies with more than 100 employees to carry out an equal pay analysis is seen as a positive development.

Basel companies 'hire' falcons to scare away pesky birds

Several Basel companies, including a pharma giant Novartis and the city's massive exhibition centre , are relying on falcons to chase away pigeons, crows, and other birds which deface facades and balconies with their droppings.

They have engaged falconers, who release their birds of prey from their clients' roofs.

"During the pandemic, when people were working from home, many pigeons and crows had settled in and our campus became very dirty", a spokesperson for Novartis told SRF public broadcaster. 

The company added that no birds are harmed during those special operations: "the animals are gently chased away but not killed".

 

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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Helena Bachmann in Geneva 2022/11/02 04:12

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