Today in Switzerland For Members

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

Helena Bachmann in Geneva
Helena Bachmann in Geneva - [email protected]
Today in Switzerland: A roundup of the latest news on Tuesday
Swiss consumers spare no money for Christmas gifts. Image by Gundula Vogel from Pixabay

Wages are rising significantly, but unions say not enough; Swiss are European train champions; and other news in our roundup on Tuesday.


Swiss wages rising but not enough to counter inflation

Switzerland’s employees are seeing the biggest pay increase in 20 years, but not enough to compensate the loss in purchasing power.

This is the finding of several unions, released on Monday.

“In total, general salary increases were obtained in 97 percent of the negotiations. But they remain on average below the price increases,” notes Travail.Suisse in a statement.

Highest raises are in the restaurant and hotel industry. Construction, public transport, and public administration sectors also fare well.

On the other hand, wages increased less in retail and healthcare sectors.

However, the report only applies to branches in which unions conducted negotiations; for many employees, the decisions were made outside the framework of union discussions.

READ MORE: Everything foreigners need to know about trade unions in Switzerland 


Switzerland is still the champion of train travel

With an average of 48 train journeys per person in 2021, Swiss commuters remain the European leader in rail transport.

This is shown in the comparison of European countries published on Monday by LITRA public transport association.
“Each resident of Switzerland traveled an average of 1,628 kilometres by train,” the association said.

France is in the second place, with 1,118 kilometres traveled, the only other country that exceeded the 1,000-km mark.

LITRA noted, however, that rail travel in 2021 was still affected by the pandemic, with fewer passengers across Europe than previously.

However, when the 2022 figures are released next year, “we can expect to see an increase in demand for rail passenger traffic. This is what is taking shape in Switzerland” already, according to LITRA.

Despite inflation, the Swiss spend freely on Christmas gifts
Though prices of many consumer goods have increased, people in Switzerland spent more money for holiday shopping in 2022 than in previous, pre-inflation years, according to a new study by the audit and consulting firm EY.

On average, 343 francs was spent on gifts, beating the 2021 record of 334 francs per person.

Consumers have been loose with their money this year because “our consumption needs remain despite the crisis atmosphere,” EY said. “And Christmas is sacred to us.”


Homeowners want to switch to cheaper energy sources

Rising energy prices are a burden for many homeowners in Switzerland, according to a survey published by Comparis consumer platform today.

It shows that more than one in 10 respondents “suffers greatly” from higher costs, while 45 percent said they feel “the heavier burden” of higher prices.

Many said they want to switch to less expensive sources such as heat pumps, district heating, or solar energy.

READ MORE: Swiss government confirms ‘sharp increase’ in electricity prices 

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