The Swiss labour market is very popular: our country is known for its high wages, good and flexible working conditions as well as comprehensive social benefits.
In recent years, the Swiss labour market has fundamentally changed: for example, part-time jobs (34% in 2016) have increased; there are also more women in work and the immigration of foreign workers has seen a large increase. With the gradual introduction of the agreement on freedom of movement, since 2002, in particular, increasing numbers of workers have been migrating from the EU area to Switzerland (particularly from Germany, Italy and Portugal). More than 24.9% of those who are in permanent employment are foreign nationals in 2015.
Full-time Swiss employees worked 41.3 hours per week. 75,8% of workers are employed in the service sector, 21,1% in industry and trade, and about 3,1% in agriculture. Switzerland is rather more heavily represented in the service sector than the EU average.
The average unemployment rate in 2016 was 3,3%. Given the positive, but slightly lower growth economic forecasts due to the appreciation of the Swiss franc, the unemployment rate is therefore forecasted to grow from 3,2% in 2017 to 3,1% in 2018.