Switzerland’s unemployment rate, now 2.6%, hasn’t been so low for 10 years, according to the latest figures from Switzerland’s State Secretariat for Economic Affairs (SECO).
A weakening of the Swiss franc helped boost Switzerland’s economic growth, creating more jobs.
The unemployment rate among young workers (15-24) dropped 0.7% to 2.4% as did unemployment among the 50+ (-0.3% to 2.5%).
All of Switzerland’s French-speaking cantons saw unemployment decline, however the large difference with German-speaking Switzerland remained (3.6% vs 2.2%).
In addition, foreigners (4.7%) were more likely to be out of work than Swiss (1.9%).
It is important to note that the way SECO calculates unemployment is incomplete. It 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 a long time, are excluded from SECO’s figures.
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 rate of registered unemployed. Swiss unemployment using the ILO’s unemployment definition was 5.2% in March 2018, while SECO’s rate was 2.9%, a 2.3% difference