Figures published on 9 May 2017 by SECO, the Swiss State Secretariat for Economic Affairs, show a fall in the number of unemployed in Switzerland.
At the end of April 2017, there were 146,330 people registered as unemployed, 5,950 fewer than the month before, reducing the rate of unemployment from 3.4% to 3.3%.
Unemployment across the French and Italian speaking regions averaged 4.3%, materially higher than in German speaking Switzerland where the rate was 2.9%. The worst affected cantons were Neuchâtel (5.9%), Geneva (5.3%), Jura (4.7%), Vaud (4.6%) and Basel (3.9%). At the other end of the spectrum, Obwalden and Appenzell-Innerrhoden had rates of less than 1%.
In addition, the rate was higher among foreigners (5.9%) compared to Swiss (2.3%).
SECO defines unemployed as those officially registered as unemployed who still qualify for unemployment benefits. Those who don’t, usually because they have been out of work for long periods, are excluded from the official figure. A more more comprehensive calculation, which includes all those looking for work, calculated by the International Labour Organisation (ILO), is typically far higher than the SECO figure. The ILO percentage for Switzerland in 2016 was 4.6%, while SECO’s rate was 3.5%.
In April 2017, there were 3,035 people who had reached the end of their entitlement to benefits under the unemployment insurance system, falling out of SECO’s official measure of unemployment.