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European immigration into Switzerland rises by 29%

Summary:
Data published by Switzerland’s State Secretariat for Economic Affairs (SECO) show a sharp rise in the number of people moving to Switzerland from EU/EFTA nations. Photo by Yan Krukau on Pexels.comIn 2023, 68,000 people arrived in Switzerland from EU/EFTA countries to live, the highest number since 2008 when 72,100 arrived. The 2023 figure is 29% higher than the number of people arriving in 2022. According to SECO, the rising number reflects Switzerland’s robust employment growth and low unemployment. Immigration and employment go hand in hand, said the agency. Employment growth was solid in 2023, while the unemployment rate reached its lowest level since 2001. As Switzerland’s population has aged, the native working-age population has grown only slightly over the last 20 years.

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Data published by Switzerland’s State Secretariat for Economic Affairs (SECO) show a sharp rise in the number of people moving to Switzerland from EU/EFTA nations.

European immigration into Switzerland rises by 29%
Photo by Yan Krukau on Pexels.com

In 2023, 68,000 people arrived in Switzerland from EU/EFTA countries to live, the highest number since 2008 when 72,100 arrived. The 2023 figure is 29% higher than the number of people arriving in 2022.

According to SECO, the rising number reflects Switzerland’s robust employment growth and low unemployment. Immigration and employment go hand in hand, said the agency. Employment growth was solid in 2023, while the unemployment rate reached its lowest level since 2001.

As Switzerland’s population has aged, the native working-age population has grown only slightly over the last 20 years. During the same period the economy has grown at a faster rate, requiring workers from outside Switzerland to fill the gap between the limited local supply of new workers and rising worker demand.

Switzerland has a high employment rate by international standards. This means there is less scope to squeeze more work out of the local population. Other countries such as Austria, the Netherlands and Belgium have been able to tap into domestic worker potential to a greater extent by increasing labour force participation rates and by reducing unemployment.

Switzerland’s location in the heart of Europe and its relatively strong economy, which offers relatively higher pay, aid its access to workers from neighbouring nations. Sharing languages with its neighbours facilitates rapid integration of workers into Switzerland’s workforce.

Many of the EU workers in Switzerland are highly qualified and employed in high value add jobs in fast-growing sectors, such as technology and healthcare. In addition, Switzerland relies on the EU/EFTA for low skilled positions that are often difficult to fill such as those in hospitality and construction.

In 2023, 52% of EU/EFTA migration in 2023 came from Germany (21%), France (16%) and Italy (15%).

More on this:
SECO press release (in French) – Take a 5 minute French test now

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