The rate of unemployment in Switzerland in the 4th quarter of 2020 was 4.9%, up from 3.9% in the 4th quarter of 2019. The same figures for the EU were 6.6% (Q4 2109) and 7.5% (Q4 2020).
There were significant regional differences. Regional rates ranged from 3.0% (central Switzerland) to 7.9% (Lake Geneva). Zurich (4.7%) and Ticino (6.8%) were in the middle. The rate of unemployment in the Lake Geneva region (7.9%) in Q4 2020 was higher than the EU average (7.5%).
The method used to calculate these unemployment figures is defined by the International Labour Organisation (ILO), which includes all available job seekers – ILO definition of unemployment.
The standard official Swiss measure, which is further from what most European nations use, produces a lower rate. At the end of December 2020, this rate was 3.5%. However, this figure includes only those registered as unemployed, excluding those who are available and seeking work but are no longer registered. Much of the motivation to register with the unemployment office in Switzerland disappears once an individual has reached the end of their unemployment insurance.