Although in many cases employment or paid work offers effective protection against poverty, employed persons can also be affected by poverty. The cause of poverty despite employment can be analysed in greater depth by observing the poverty rates by socio-occupational variables.
In 2019, in Switzerland, the poverty rate of employed persons was 4%. Persons with a migration background from the first generation had a higher rate than those without a migration background (less than 7% compared with 3%). The poverty rate among employed persons from the second or subsequent generations is close to that of the population without a migration background (2%).
Between 2014 and 2019, the poverty rate of employed people has not changed significantly in the population without migration background. In the population with a migration background of the first generation, it has increased from 2.5 percentage points since 2014. In the population of the second or higher generation, the values showed a decrease between 2014 and 2016, to trend back to values around 2% and 3%. In sum, in 2019 the gaps between the first and second or subsequent generations are higher than the gaps in 2014.
In most major regions, the poverty rate of employed persons with a migration background shows no statistically significant difference with those without a migration background. In 2019, in the Lake Geneva region, this rate is significantly higher among employed persons with a migration background than among those without one. In Eastern Switzerland, the opposite is true.
In western societies, paid work is considered the best way to reduce the risk of being affected by poverty. The poverty rate of the employed population indicates the proportion of the population who, despite working, is affected by poverty.
The poverty rate of the employed population corresponds to the percentage of employed persons aged 18 or over living in a poor household. According to this indicator, anyone who was employed or self-employed for more than half of the reference period, is considered as an employed person. A household is considered poor if its disposable income is below the poverty line (see indications on the poverty rate above). For households comprised of several adults with a different migration status, the same value calculated for the entire household is used for persons with and without a migration background.
Following changes to the survey framework and improvements in the weighting model, results from 2014 on can no longer be directly compared with those from previous years (series break).