Vote on 8 February, EU or not ?

Posted on 15 January 2009 by Gaffer

Fears around the employment market will play a significant role in the vote on 8 February. Despite the support of economy and trade unions, the “yes” to freedom of movement is now doubt in the middle class of Switzerland that the influx of skilled workers worried.

Entry into force in 2002, expanded in 2005, the free movement of people has changed the Swiss labor market.

According to the latest barometer of employment published in late November by the Federal Statistical Office (SFO), Switzerland had, 3rd quarter 2008, 1.3% of employed more than a year earlier.

An increase resulting primarily from the increased number of foreign workers (+4.0%), the Swiss number increased only slightly (0.4%).

Absorbed by an economy operating at full capacity in recent years, the European workforce has also diversified.

Gone is the cliché of the Portuguese bricklayer, now 58% of workers who come to settle in Switzerland are graduates, against 36% in 1997.

But what happens on the Swiss labor market during this financial crisis?

EU and bilateral votation in Switzerland

This fear haunts now also the middle class, traditionally more open to Europe.

In the latest survey of the institute devoted to gfs.berne popular vote on February 8, and it appeared that his position was “the reluctance of the refusal.” What political scientist Claude Longchamp explained by the presence of increasingly skilled foreign workers.
A study by the Center for Business Cycle Research at the Swiss Federal Institute of Technology Zurich (KOF) shows that between 2002 and 2007, gross domestic product (GDP) in Switzerland recorded an annual increase of 0.16% above what would have happened without the agreement. The same study also indicates that the movement did not decrease the level of nominal wages, or increase the rate of unemployment among the Swiss.
But the assumption that European workers are the first affected by the crisis in Switzerland seems to be confirmed. In November, the net migration fell by 28% compared to the previous month. The fall was particularly marked in Germany (-40%), which are the most numerous among EU citizens to seek their professional happiness on the Swiss market of employment.

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