Labour costs are defined as total employer expenditure on employees and generally represent a large proportion of the costs of the production of goods and services. They include gross wages (79,9% of total costs in 2016), social contributions paid by the employer (16.9%), as well as other expenses including professional education, training and recruitment (3.2%) and in 2016 amounted to CHF 60.05 per hour worked for all secondary and tertiary sector enterprises.
Costs differed not only by economic sector but also often depending on the size of enterprises.
Data in international comparison (labour cost 2012)
For businesses, the cost of labour is one of the main indicators for the attractiveness of a country's different economic locations and can vary greatly from one country to another. Influenced by a strong franc (2012 euro exchange rate: 1.21 francs), average labour costs rose in Switzerland in 2012 to €51.25 per hour worked in businesses with 10 employees or more. The EU15 countries showed lower costs in the same year, ranging from €13.30 (Portugal) to €39.35 (Denmark). In Austria, Germany and France, countries bordering Switzerland, hourly costs were €29.75, €30.50 and €34.25 respectively. The differences were even greater when looking at new EU member countries: in 2012 only in Malta (€11.80), Slovenia (€15.60) and Cyprus (€16.75) were labour costs higher than €10 per hour.