Category Archive: 3.) Investec

Switzerland scores well on youth job market conditions but suffers from skills mismatch

A recent report places Switzerland second in a ranking of 33 european countries on conditions in the youth labour market in 2016 – youth are those between 15 and 24. Switzerland’s overall score of 5.67 out of 7.00 is close to Denmark’s 5.72. Switzerland’s highest scores are for employment rate (6.01) and working conditions (5.77), with education (5.36) and smoothness of transition to work (5.52) coming in lower.

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Swiss unemployment lowest in 10 years

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.

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Lenders pay to lend money to Switzerland

On 28 December 2018, Italy issued government bonds maturing in 2028 at an effective interest rate of 2.7%1. Interest rates like this combined with the scale of Italian public debt (157% of GDP) mean Italian taxpayers spend more on public debt interest than they do on education. In 2015, Italy spent 4.1% of GDP on public debt interest and only 2.8% of GDP on education.

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Nestlé now Europe’s most valuable company

Volatile markets have been reshuffling the ranking of the world’s most valuable companies. Over the course of the last six months, Nestlé overtook Royal Dutch Shell to become Europe’s most valuable company. At the end of June 2018, Royal Dutch Shell had Europe’s highest market capitalisation (US$ 293 billion), making it the world’s 13th most valuable company, while Nestlé ranked 21st globally, with a market capitalisation of US$ 233 billion.

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Question of the week: do we still need a standard retirement age?

Reaching the official retirement age1 is an important milestone for many people. Some look forward to it while others dread it. Some dreading it would prefer to continue working either because they enjoy their work or would like the extra income. Some feel they are being systematically and unfairly labelled too old to work.

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VAT now applied to most foreign online shopping from 1 January 2019

In 2016, Switzerland’s government decided to tighten the VAT exemption on imported purchases, a move that affects most online orders from foreign retailers. The new rules took effect on 1 January 2019 – they were originally planned for 1 January 2018 but systems and processes were not ready.

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Police Warn of fake Swiss Franc Notes

Since the beginning of December 2018 more and more counterfeit 100 Swiss franc notes have been appearing in the Swiss canton of Valais in and around Sion and Conthey. The fake notes, which the local Police say can be spotted if compared to real ones, have been making their way into circulation via shopping centres, kiosks and service stations in the Sion and Conthey region.

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Agism most frequent form of discrimination in Switzerland, according to survey

Growing old is something that happens to nearly all of us. However, according to a recent study close to one in three people (28%) reported age-related discrimination in Switzerland in 2017. The rate of age discrimination (28%) is higher than sexism (22%) and racism (12%), according to Christian Maggiori, a professor focused on social work interviewed by the newspaper La Liberté.

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Swiss government approves post-Brexit deal on treatment of UK and Swiss nationals

Today, The Federal Council, Switzerland’s executive, announced it has approved a deal safeguarding the rights of Swiss and UK citizens after Brexit. The agreement is part of a package of deals being worked out as part of a plan dubbed “Mind the Gap”. Under the agreement, any UK citizen residing in Switzerland before Brexit will retain all of their existing rights for life.

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Switzerland could see vote on laws banning age discrimination

Heidi Joos, the managing director of the organisation Avenir 50 plus, and others, plan to launch a referendum aimed at introducing laws against age discrimination in Switzerland. Age discrimination in recruitment is common in Switzerland. Some job search websites allow filtering by age, and job adverts sometimes specify applicants be below a particular age.

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Swiss Supermarkets Selling Products with no Country of Origin on Label

For example, a piece of farmed salmon will typically be labelled only with its country of origin, containing no information on what the fish has been fed. Contaminated fish feed can significantly push up the level of dioxins found in the fish’s fat. Mad cows disease is another example of how animal feed contaminated food.

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No Relief for Swiss Renters as Mortgage Rates Barely Move

Every three months the rate of interest used to set Swiss rents is reviewed. If it goes down some renters have the right to request a decrease in rent. This time it remained at 1.50%. The last time it dropped was 2 June 2017 when it fell to 1.5%, its lowest level since 2008.

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Inflation outstrips Swiss salary increases

The latest figures show that Swiss salaries have not kept up with inflation. An average Swiss salary rose 0.4% in 2017, compared to inflation of 0.5%. This left the average salary earner 0.1% worse off in real terms over the year.

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Climate Change Contributes to Surprise Fall in Swiss GDP

Third quarter Swiss GDP figures released yesterday show Switzerland’s economy shrank compared to the quarter before. GDP for the quarter to September was down by 0.2% compared to the quarter before, ending an 18-month run of quarterly growth.

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Swiss gender pay gap compared to rest of Europe

A recently published study ranks Switzerland 10th on gender pay gap. Switzerland’s gap of 17% is bigger than Italy’s (5.3%), Luxembourg’s (5.5%), Belgium’s (6.1%), Sweden’s (13.3%), Spain’s (14.2%), Denmark’s (15%), France’s (15.2%) or the Netherlands’ (15.6%), but lower than Finland’s (17.4%), Portugal’s (17.5%), Austria’s (20.1%), the UK’s (21%) or Germany’s (21.5%).

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Switzerland’s electronic motorway vignette to be optional

This week, Switzerland’s Federal Council decided the planned electronic motorway vignette will be optional. Drivers will be able to choose. Anyone wanting to drive on Switzerland’s motorway network must first buy a vignette, a road tax sticker introduced in 1985, which must be displayed on the windscreen. It currently costs CHF 40.

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Swiss Unemployment Benefits Cut for a one-day filing delay

Switzerland’s unemployment benefits might be generous but they are strictly policed, as one recipient recently discovered. For a period of up to approximately two years after losing a job, most workers in Switzerland receive 70% of their former salary up to a maximum of CHF 88,200 a year – the amount paid varies depending on circumstances1.

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Minimum return on Swiss pensions unchanged

A government commission looking at the rate, called for a reduction to 0.75%, while unions demanded a rise to 1.25%. In the end the Federal Council decided to take the middle road and leave the rate at 1% for 2019. The rate is the minimum pension funds must apply to employment related 2nd pillar pension assets in 2019.

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Switzerland’s rising rate of farm suicide

The high and rising suicide rate among Switzerland’s male farmers stands in contrast to the declining rate among rural men working in other professions, according to a new study by the University of Bern published by the newspaper SonntagsZeitung. The rate among rural men working outside farming is 33 per 100,000, compared to 38 per 100,000 among farmers, a rate that has risen since 2003.

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New Swiss broadcasting fee starts next year

After a referendum in March 2018 threatened to axe Switzerland’s costly broadcasting fee, the government put forward a counter proposal, which was adopted when 71.6% of voters voted to keep the fee. On 1 January 2019, the lower fee contained in the government’s plan will come into force. Next year, instead of CHF 451, each household will need to cough up CHF 365.

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