Navigation

High salaries aren’t what they seem in Switzerland

Survey: one in ten Swiss jobs is ‘low paid’

Hairdressers are among the lowest paid workers in Switzerland, according to OFS © Keystone / Gaetan Bally

Around 320,000 jobs in Switzerland are considered low paid, earning a gross monthly salary of under CHF4,335 ($4,400), according to the most recent nationwide statistics. 

This content was published on July 16, 2019 - 09:25
OFS/sb

In 2016, 12% of Swiss workers earned such a low monthly salary, the Federal Statistical Office (OFS) reported on MondayExternal link

The OFS uses the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) measure, which calculates that a low salary is less than 75% of the median gross national wage for a 40-hour week job. 

The OFS said 17% of female workers in Switzerland had a low paid job in 2016, compared to 7.6% of men. 

+ How far does CHF6,000 really get you in Switzerland?

The main low-paid sectors were personal services – which includes hairdressing and cleaning firms – the retail sector, the food and restaurant industry, and hotels and accommodation.

Canton Ticino had the highest percentage of low salary earners (24.7% of the total) – almost double the national average. In north-west Switzerland this percentage fell to 7.8%, while it was 12% in eastern Switzerland. 

Half of all low paid jobs (53.8%) were done by foreign residents. And almost 50% of poorly paid work (46.4%) was offered by companies with fewer than 50 staff.

In compliance with the JTI standards

In compliance with the JTI standards

More: SWI swissinfo.ch certified by the Journalism Trust Initiative

Contributions under this article have been turned off. You can find an overview of ongoing debates with our journalists here. Please join us!

If you want to start a conversation about a topic raised in this article or want to report factual errors, email us at english@swissinfo.ch.

Share this story

Change your password

Do you really want to delete your profile?