Trend in wages

The Swiss wage index is an annual indicator of gross wage growth, including the 13th monthly salary. Since 2011, the indices and variations have been broken down by economic activity according to the General Classification of Economic Activities 2008 (NOGA08 / NACE08) and by sex.

Wage growth in 2020

Nominal wage increase of 0.8% in 2020 and real wages rise by 1.5%

The Swiss nominal wage index rose by 0.8% on average in 2020 compared with 2019. It settled at 103.4 points (base 2015 = 100). Given an average annual inflation rate of -0.7%, real wages increased by 1.5% (102.6 points, base 2015 = 100) in the economy as a whole.

Decisions on pay rises in 2020 were generally made in September 2019 when inflation of +0.4% was estimated for 2020. The slowdown in inflation during the COVID19 health crisis was accompanied by inflation that eventually amounted to -0.7%. The purchasing power of wages, resulting from the adjustment of nominal wages for inflation, thus rose for the second time since 2019. For the main collective labour agreements (CLA) covering almost half a million employees, the increase in real (nominal) wages negotiated at collective level for 2020 was +0.4%.

Nominal and real wage growth in 2020
    Nominal wages in %
Real wages in %
Total economy 0.8 1.5
Inflation -0.7%    
Sector 2 0.5 1.2
Sector 3 0.9 1.6
Men 0.8 1.5
Women 0.9

Wage growth by industry in 2020

In 2020, nominal wages increased by an average of +0.5% in the industrial sector (+0.9% in 2019, +0.3% in 2018 and +0.4% in 2017).

As in 2019, the tertiary sector recorded an increase in nominal wages of +0.9% in 2020 (+0.9% in 2019, +0.5% in 2018 and  +0.4% in 2017).

The purchasing power of wages increased again in 2020. Negative inflation at -0.7%, combined with an increase in nominal wages of +0.8% has led to an increase in real wages of +1.5% (+1.2% for the secondary sector and +1.6% for the tertiary sector). Real wage growth varied in 2020 and ranged from –1.4% to +3.4%, underlining the diversity of wage dynamics that characterise each economic activity.

Further information


Press releases

Statistical sources and concepts

On this topic

Quarterly estimate

Wage growth in Switzerland. Quarterly estimates of wage growth for all employees.

Historical series

Wage growth in Switzerland since 1942. Indices and real and nominal change by sex for all employees.


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



Our English pages offer only a limited range of information on our statistical production. For our full range please consult our pages in French and German (top right hand screen).