Switzerland’s median gross salary rose in the two years to 2014. 50% of salary earners earn less than the median while 50% earn more. In addition, the gap between the top 10% of earners and the bottom 10% shrunk.
The Swiss median salary climbed to CHF 6,189 per month. This represents CHF 74,268 annually and compares very favourably with other places. In the US the 2014 median salary was CHF 42,226 (US$ 41,132). In the UK it was CHF 42,439 (£ 27,456). Median Swiss pay is around 75% higher than median pay in both the US and the UK.
The median Swiss figure rose 1.2% between 2012 and 2014, compared to a rise of 3.2% between 2010 and 2014. This increases is low until set against a background of low Swiss inflation. Consumer price inflation went negative in 2012 (-0.7), stayed there in 2013 (-0.2) and registered zero in 2014. Factor in this deflation and the pay increase looks better.
The gap between the median for top and bottom 10% declined. In 2008 the figure for the top 10% was 2.8 times that of the bottom 10%. In 2014 it was 2.6 times. Over this six year period the top 10% only saw median pay rise 3.6% compared to 9.1% for the bottom 10% and 6.8% for those in the middle.
The gender gap has also shrunk. In the private sector men received median pay 18.9% higher than women in 2012. By 2014 this difference was down to 15.1%.
Pay varied hugely by field of work. The best industries are pharmaceuticals (CHF 116,328 p.a.), financial services (CHF 114,588 p.a.), research and development (CHF 108,048 p.a.) and insurance (CHF 105,228 p.a.). At the other end of the spectrum were the food industry (CHF 63,636 p.a.), retail (CHF 57,132 p.a.) and hotel work (CHF 51,996 p.a.).
Swiss nationals fared better than foreigners. The median Swiss citizen took home CHF 77,316 p.a. while those without a Helvetian passport received CHF 68,760 p.a., 11% less. On the other hand, foreigners in senior positions earned systematically more than their Swiss counterparts. Cross-border workers in these positions earned a median salary of CHF 123,516 p.a. compared to CHF 116,784 p.a. for Swiss nationals.
Note: all median annual Swiss salaries were calculated by multiplying monthly figures by 12.
Swiss statistics office press release (in French)