Real wages set to rise in Switzerland for first time in three years

Is it too early for Swiss workers to crack open the champagne over wages? Keystone / Martin Ruetschi

Employees in Switzerland are expected to receive above-inflation pay rises for the first time since 2016, according to a survey of companies. On average, workers are forecast to take home a 1.1% pay hike – a rise of 0.9% when taking inflation into account.

This content was published on October 27, 2019 - 13:47

These are the findings of research portal Lohntendenzen.chExternal link, as reported by the NZZ am SonntagExternal link newspaper. The findings point to companies allowing employees to take a share of profits. The top 20 firms in Switzerland have handed out record dividends of CHF40 billion ($40 billion) this year, the newspaper reports.

But the expected wage hikes are not evenly spread around industries. The winners will be information technology employees (+1.3% real hikes), the pharmaceutical and chemical branches (+1.1%), followed by workers at banks and insurance companies (+1%).

People working in the hospitality industry will have to make do with an average real salary rise of +0.4% while teachers can only expect to receive +0.3%.

Employees have more reason to celebrate, according to, as they benefit from more flexible working hours and longer holidays than ever before.

However, Switzerland’s image as a land of plenty has been questioned by some. The tax administration earlier this year admitted that wealth is not being evenly distributed, with inequality getting worse.

A survey in the summer also found that one in ten Swiss jobs can be categorized as “low paid”. In addition, there is still concern about women earning less than men for doing the same job.

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