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Unemployment in Switzerland (1990 - present)

Diagram 1990 to present
Diagram 1936 - 2007
Remark concerning the statistical data
Further links

After Second World War Switzerland had absolutely no experience with unemployment until about 1990:

When for the first time things changed from an unemployment-rate of about 0.1% to about 1% at the end of the 1980ies Swiss officials had no idea how to cope with this situation. The unemployment insurance had accumulated some money, but it could be foreseen that this will be used up soon (also with this low rate). As a first measure both employees and employers had to pay 0.3% into this insurance (before 1991 it was 0.1% of ones salary!). Later this rate was increased to 3%.

I am not the person to report many details here, but the effects for the unemployed people were quite bad (at least until 1995, when the officials thought the nightmare was over):

2018-07-10 the association WorkFair 50+ was founded. They launch a peoples initiative (Volksinititative) to change the rules to «The same approach applies to the calculation of retirement credits for all insured persons regardless of age. Employed persons are liable for contributions from 1 January after the age of 17.». If this will become true the main problem will be to find a good transition …

2018-10-05: The data on which the diagram is based has been in doubt for years. Only those unemployed who have registered with one of the Regional Employment Placement Centres (REAV) are counted. In 2017, 3279 people willing to work (1726 Swiss, 1553 foreigners) fell through this grid: they are out of control and can no longer receive unemployment benefits. On average over the last few years, between 230'000 and 250'000 people willing to work were no longer employed. That is 5.3% of the approximately 4.5 million full-time jobs. The figures collected according to the ILO standard in the surrounding countries are therefore in principle higher than these "glossed over" figures [Luzerner Zeitung 2018-10-01].

[To top/bottom of page] Diagram of unemployment in Switzerland

Drawn with my script suite FMgraph.

Daigram Unemployment in Switzerland starting 1990

Data source: Unfortunately such a diagram is not available from 'official Swiss' sources. Only the data tables can be found at the Indicate German SECO (1994 and younger) and at Indicate German www.amstat.ch. However, there is a comparable diagram at tradingeconomics.com. You get about the same picture with setting MAX:

[To top/bottom of page] Unemployment Switzerland (1936 to 2007)

The vertical scale is the same as in the diagram above. The horizontal scale is broken at 1970 (no data available) which changes the sequence of labels.

Data Source: Excel file from the Swiss Buro of Statistics.

[To top/bottom of page] Remark on the statistical data

As a Indicate German comment in the street-magazine Surprise points out, the data do not reflect the real situation of unemployed people. Counted are only those people who are registered at a RAV (Regionalen Arbeitsvermittlungszentren = regional centre for mediating an employment). Not included in the figures are these people:

Hence the statistical data reflect only those people who are "not working and are searching employment". Looking at the figures of march 2015 reveals: 204'266 people were searching employment and 145108 people where out of work. Thus 59'158 people are not reflected in the statistics – a mere 30 percent!

[To top/bottom of page] Further links

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