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 2018

Nominal wage increase of 0.5%
Real wages decline by -0.4%

The Swiss nominal wage index rose by +0.5% on average compared with 2017 (+0.4% in 2017, +0.7% in 2016 and +0.4% in 2015). This nominal increase once again confirms a trend of wage moderation that has been observed since 2010 with rates of no more than +1.0%. The index settled at 101.6 points (base 2015 = 100). Given an average annual inflation rate of +0.9%, real wages registered a decline of -0.4% (100.5 points, base 2015 = 100).

Decisions on pay rises in 2018 were generally made at the end of 2017 when inflation was estimated at +0.2% for 2018. In the end, inflation rose to +0.9%. The purchasing power of wages, resulting from the adjustment of nominal wages for inflation, thus fell for the second consecutive year reaching-0.4% (-0.1% in 2017). For the main collective labour agreements (CLA) covering almost half a million employees, the increase in effective wages (nominal) negotiated at collective level for 2018 was +0.3%.

Nominal and real wage growth in 2018
    Nominal wages in %
Real wages in %
Total economy 0.5 -0.4
Inflation +0.9%    
Sector 2 0.3 -0.6
Sector 3 0.5 -0.4
Men 0.5 -0.4
Women 0.5 -0.5

Wage growth by economic branch in 2018

Nominal wages increased by an average of +0.3% in the industrial sector (+0.4 in 2017, +0.4% in 2016 and +0.5% in 2015). Inflation at +0.9% led to an average decline in real wages of -0.6% for this entire sector. There was great disparity in real wage growth, which ranged from -1.3% to +0.8% depending on the economic activity.

The tertiary sector recorded an increase in nominal wages of +0.5% (+0.4% in 2017, +0.8% in 2016 and +0.3% in 2015). Real wages declined by -0.4% overall with most economic activities experiencing a drop that ranged from -1.1% to -0.3%.

Further information


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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 Wages and Working Conditions
Espace de l'Europe 10
CH-2010 Neuch√Ętel



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