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Immigration from the EU not bad for Swiss Jobs: SECO

Posted on July 2, 2019
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Immigration from the EU not bad for Swiss Jobs SECO

Immigration from the EU – European Union had the least impact on Swiss Jobs and remained stable in the previous year. This is as per the report of the SECO – State Secretariat for Economic Affairs.

The SECO annual report assessed the impact of the agreement free movement of people. This is with respect to immigration from the EU nations to Switzerland. The numbers in 2018 were almost the same as in 2017 with a net arrival of 31,200.

The numbers are lesser than the average for the long-term. It is also a significant decrease from 2013 that recorded 68,000 arrivals. This was just one prior to the controversial vote of Swiss nationals to curb immigration from the EU.

One of the driving forces of the 2014 vote was Swiss Jobs. In this aspect, the SECO report says that the presence of a large number of overseas workers in Switzerland does not have any significant impact. This is on either Swiss salaries or Swiss Jobs, it adds, as quoted by the Swiss Info CH.

The report observes that on average, EU immigrants have higher salaries than the Swiss nationals. Nevertheless, this is chiefly driven by workers from northern and western Europe. Those from the eastern and southern EU nations are under-employed often. They earn salaries 6% lesser than the Swiss citizens.

The SECO report also offers a provisional assessment of the measure ‘job priority for Swiss nationals’. This was introduced in 2018 as a way to assuage the fears that the 2014 vote expressed.

As per this system, employers in sectors that have an unemployment rate of minimum 8% must first place job ads. This is for Jobseekers who have registered at the Unemployment Offices in Switzerland. Immigrant workers must be opted for only if the position is not filled within a week.

As of now, it is too early to quantify the direct impact of the measure on employment and immigration. The detailed report is expected in autumn this year. However, Boris Zürcher at SECO said that his Ministry is happy with the positive impact so far.

There is an additional administrative load of the to and fro dealings with the offices of Unemployment said Boris Zürcher. Nevertheless, businesses have taken it on board. The measures have permitted significant numbers of Swiss nationals to take advantage in job search, he added.

32% of the workforce in Switzerland comprised of overseas nationals in 2018. Out of the, 20% of them were from EU and EFTA – European Free Trade Association nations. Rest 12% of them were from overseas.

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