Swiss wages forecast to rise faster than inflation in 2023, FSO study suggests
New data from the Federal Statistical Office (FSO) has suggested that salaries in Switzerland have begun to rise at a faster rate than inflation. After experiencing major losses in 2022, workers on contracts controlled by collective bargaining agreements are set to see real wages rise in 2023.
GAV wages to rise faster than inflation in 2023
According to the report, wages covered by collective bargaining agreements (GAVs) are set to rise by 2,5 percent on average in 2023 as a whole, the first time GAV wages have risen by over 1 percent in a year since 2019. Once current inflation forecasts are taken into account, real wages for these workers will rise by 0,3 percent.
In contrast to the last two years, the FSO found that most wage increases were taken “collectively”, with the average wage increase from collective action totalling 2,1 percent. Individual agreements only led to wage rises of 0,4 percent on average, meaning 86 percent of salary increases in 2023 were distributed equally.
While only 655.000 workers were analysed as part of the study, the findings are a good indication that wages across the economy are finally rising in line with inflation.
Swiss workers recouping losses from 2022
The news comes after people in Switzerland experienced the biggest drop in purchasing power since World War Two in 2022, largely thanks to the heightened cost of energy provoked by the war in Ukraine and the effects of the end of the COVID pandemic. GAV wages rose by an average of 0,8 percent last year, while annual inflation stood at 2,8 percent.
There is also good news for some of those on lower salaries, with GAV minimum wages set to rise by 1,9 percent on average by the end of 2023. The fastest increases were recorded in the banking, insurance and finance (3,7 percent), commercial and sales (2,9) and manufacturing sectors (2,6). Recently, Swiss supermarket and cooperative Coop also announced that their minimum wage would be increasing by 2,43 percent, up to 4.200 francs a month in 2024.
The gains were not universal, with many sectors struggling to raise minimum salaries in line with inflation. Wage growth was especially low in the healthcare and social services sectors (1,3 percent) and in construction (1 percent). For more information, check out the official study.