Labour costs

Switzerland

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 (79,5% of total costs in 2018), social contributions paid by the employer (17.3%), as well as other expenses including professional education, training and recruitment (3.2%) and in 2018 amounted to CHF 61.90 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.

Detailed data


Switzerland in international comparison in 2016

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. According to the results of the 2016 structural survey – the most recent published by Eurostat – average labour costs rose in Switzerland in 2016 to €55.60 per hour worked in businesses with 10 employees or more. The EU15 countries showed lower costs in the same year, ranging from €13.60 (Portugal) to €41.35 (Denmark). In France, Germany, Austria and Italy, countries bordering Switzerland, hourly costs were €34.65, €32.75, €32.55 and €27.65 respectively. The differences were even greater when looking at new EU member countries: in 2016 only in Cyprus (€15.70) and Slovenia (€16.75) were labour costs higher than €15 per hour. A member country like Switzerland of the European Free Trade Association (EFTA), Norway posted an average hourly labour cost of €49.25.

Hourly labour costs (including apprentices) 2016
Enterprises with 10 employees or more, industry and services 1) EUR
Switzerland 55.62  
EU-28 26.03  
30.29  

Belgium

38.59  

Denmark

41.34  

Germany

32.76  

Greece

15.23  

Spain

21.15  

France

34.64  

Ireland

30.57  

Italy

27.63  

Luxembourg

38.74  

Netherlands

34.47  

Austria

32.53  

Portugal

13.62  

Finland

33.65  

Sweden

37.66  

United Kingdom

27.88  
 

Cyprus

15.68  

Estonia

10.81  

Hungary

7.84  

Latvia

7.66  

Malta

14.20  

Slovakia

10.20  

Czech Republic

10.27  

Lithuania

7.44  

Poland

8.71  

Slovenia

16.77  

Romania

5.35  

Bulgaria

4.45  

Croatia

9.55  
 

Iceland

36.21  

Norway

49.26  
1) Industry, construction and services (except public administration, defense, compulsory social security) - NACE08: sections B - S w/o O

Detailed data


Further information

Press releases

Contact

Federal Statistical Office Section Wages and Working Conditions
Espace de l'Europe 10
CH-2010 Neuchâtel
Switzerland

Contact

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