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Working in Switzerland: A weekly roundup of the latest job news

Find out all the latest information related to working in Switzerland with The Local's weekly roundup of job news.

Working in Switzerland: A weekly roundup of the latest job news
Lorry drivers are difficult to find in Switzerland. PAUL FAITH / AFP

Fewer unemployed people in Switzerland

The situation on the Swiss labour market brightened further in August, as the unemployment rate fell slightly.

This is due to the fact that construction and tourism activities have picked up during the summer and there is an increasing need for workers in these sectors.

Another proof of the improved state of the labour market is the number of job seekers, which fell by 4,768 in August compared to July. At the same time, the number of vacancies increased by 1,638 to 58,450.

Wage increases: Swiss union asks for 100 francs more per month

Salaries must rise by at least 2 percent, or 100 francs per month, according to the Swiss Trade Union Union (USS).

After having made significant efforts during the pandemic, Switzerland’s employees “must now be able to take advantage of the favourable economic situation that is benefiting the vast majority of sectors in Switzerland”, USS said.  

“For the moment, with few exceptions, the workers have not yet seen the slightest recognition of these efforts in terms of pay”.

Special attention must be given to the professions in which women are mainly employed. According to the USS, one concrete example is the health sector, where the level of pay is “very inadequate”.

Some job vacancies are difficult to fill

There is a shortage of employees in sectors such as nursing, construction, or long-haul driving, but these positions are difficult to fill because many of these jobs are difficult and poorly paid.

Nicky Le Feuvre , work sociologist at the University of Lausanne, is not surprised by these shortages, especially since Swiss workers are not interested in certain professions and these jobs depend largely on foreign or cross- border  employees.

 “What is even more surprising is that this phenomenon is still evident today. This means that even now, some people think twice about getting into ‘difficult’ jobs. ”

Did you know?

If you are looking for a job in Switzerland, you don’t have to wait to answer adverts in the newspaper or online.

You can send in your CV “spontaneously”, that is, propose your candidacy to any company you are interested in, even if it is not hiring at the moment.

Simply send a letter along with your CV to the Human Resources department, explaining why you would like to work at this particular company, and asking to keep your application on file in case a vacancy comes up.

Quite a few people in Switzerland who contact the company directly end up hired.

Useful links

Looking for a job in Switzerland or just want a little more information about working here, then check out the following links: 

The pros and cons of working in Switzerland

Everything you need to know about annual leave in Switzerland

How much do university graduates earn in Switzerland – and who earns the most?

The jobs roundup is new addition and we’d welcome any feedback or suggestions for areas it should cover. Please email us at [email protected]

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For members


Which countries does Switzerland have working holiday visa agreements with?

Switzerland has made reciprocal agreements regarding working holiday visas with several countries. Here's what you need to know.

Which countries does Switzerland have working holiday visa agreements with?

Over the past few decades, countries around the globe have rolled out ‘working holiday visa’ agreements.

These visa schemes, largely targeted at young people, allow people to work and live in a particular country, usually for a set period of time and pursuant to certain conditions.

In recent years, Switzerland has expanded its own form of a ‘working holiday visa’, although there are some important differences to be aware of.

Unlike some of the better known schemes like those in place in Australia, applicants are discouraged from moving around and are generally required to stay with the one employer for the duration.

The goal of the visa scheme is to allow applicants to “expand their occupational and linguistic skills in Switzerland”.

The visa scheme runs for 18 months and cannot be extended.

Which countries does Switzerland have working holiday visa agreements with?

The agreements are made between countries, meaning your fate will depend on whether your government has at some point struck a deal with Switzerland.

EXPLAINED: What’s the difference between permanent residence and Swiss citizenship?

If you are from the European Union or an EFTA country (Iceland, Liechtenstein, Norway and Switzerland), then you will be able to live and work in Switzerland as is – and will not need to go through this process.

If you come from outside the EU, you will only be able to apply for this visa if you are a citizen of the following countries:

Australia, Argentina, Canada, Chile, Indonesia, Japan, Monaco, New Zealand, the Philippines, Russia, South Africa, Tunisia, Ukraine and the United States.

What does ‘reciprocal’ mean in this context? 

Where these agreements have been struck, they have entitled citizens of both countries to certain rights and permissions in the other country. 

However, while these arrangements might be reciprocal, they are not identical. 

For instance, while citizens of Australia can enter Switzerland and work, the rules for Swiss citizens in Australia are significantly different. 

Therefore, if considering each program, be sure to study all of the relevant details as these will change from country to country and from agreement to agreement. 

More information is available at the following link. 

EXPLAINED: How to get a working holiday visa in Switzerland