Wage evolution

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 2016

Nominal wage increase of 0.7%. Real wages rise by 1.1%.

The Swiss nominal wage index rose by +0.7% on average in 2016 compared with 2015. It settled at 100.7 points (base 2015 = 100). Given a negative average annual inflation rate of -0.4%, real wages registered an increase of +1.1% (101.1 points, base 2015 = 100).

In 2016, nominal wages increased by an average of +0.7% compared with 2015. For the fifth year in a row, nominal wages grew by less than +1%. Almost all economic activities enjoyed a real increase in wages, buoyed by negative inflation of -0.4%. At the end of 2015, when decisions were being made with regard to pay rises for 2016, economic growth, at global and
national level, was rather flat. However, it was expected to recover gradually, if moderately, in 2016. By way of comparison, in the context of the main collective labour agreements (CLA) covering almost half a million employees, the increase in real wages negotiated for 2016 was +0.4%.

Nominal and real wage growth in 2016
    Nominal wages in %
Real wages in %
Total economy 0.7 1.1
Inflation -0.4%    
Sector 2 0.4 0.9
Sector 3 0.8 1.2
Men 0.6 1.0
Women 0.8 1.3

Wage growth by economic branch in 2016

Nominal wages increased by +0.4% in the industrial sector - a decline compared with previous years (+0.5% in 2015, +0.9% in 2014, +0.7% in 2013 and 2012). Negative inflation led to an average rise in real wages of +0.9% for this entire sector. There is great inequality in real wage growth, which ranges from -0.3% to +1.9% depending on the economic activity. In 2016, the tertiary sector recorded an increase in nominal wages of +0.8%, greater than that seen in the two previous years (+0.3% in 2015 and +0.7% in 2014). Real wages rose by 1.2%.

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.

Series 1939=100

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


Federal Statistical Office Section Labour Force
Espace de l'Europe 10
CH-2010 Neuch√Ętel



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