Internationals fill in the gaps as the Swiss move to part-time work

Internationals fill in the gaps as the Swiss move to part-time work

Expats and internationals are filling in the gaps left by employees across Switzerland as more and more locals switch to part-time jobs, a new study by Blick has shown. As the country’s population creeps closer and closer to the 9 million mark, and expats continue to arrive in Switzerland seeking employment, some locals have continued to question whether increases in immigration are needed and worthwhile. 

Switzerland sees many benefits of immigration

According to the Blick, more than 74.000 people choose to immigrate to Switzerland every year. In the past thirty years, as immigration to Switzerland has continued to increase, the average number of hours worked by Swiss citizens has fallen, with many choosing to take more holiday leave. Now, the newspaper has noted that a large number of Swiss people are also choosing to work part-time, with experts saying non-Swiss residents are now picking up the slack for lost working hours

Aside from this, highly-skilled workers from abroad are also helping to lessen the effects of Switzerland’s worker shortage - from healthcare to education, the country is struggling with a shortage of skilled workers, which are needed to meet the demand for critical services. 

Some in Switzerland still think immigration should be capped

Despite the positive benefits of immigration, there are some in Switzerland that question whether allowing more people to arrive in the country is a sound policy, specifically noting expats' impact on ongoing housing shortages. The arrival of expatriate workers in some of the most popular Swiss cities means that the market for housing is extremely competitive - take this man, who offered to pay anyone 3.000 francs if they could find him an apartment in Zurich, as an example.

On the other hand, Swiss people who already own land or have bought their own houses are cashing in on the boom. "Due to the increased demand, the value of land and real estate has multiplied," Michael Siegenthaler, labour market expert at the Economic Research Center (KOF) at ETH Zurich, told Blick.

Emily Proctor


Emily Proctor

Emily grew up in the UK before moving abroad to study International Relations and Chinese. She then obtained a Master's degree in International Security and gained an interest in journalism....

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