Record high immigration; Birth rate continues to fall; Products labelled ‘local’ may not be

News For 25 June 2024

Lots of data indicates that Switzerland needs foreign workers to fill job vacancies. A report from the State Secretariat for Economic Affairs (SECO) confirms how important employees from the European Union and EFTA (Norway, Iceland, and Liechtenstein) have had for Switzerland’s labour market, and economy in general. That is why “demand for foreign labour was strong in Switzerland in 2023,” SECO said in its annual report, which assessed the impact that the Free Movement of Persons agreement has had on the country’s employment. Why does Switzerland need these workers? Simply put, they are needed for the country’s economy to function optimally.


The number of babies born in Switzerland fell to 80,024 in 2023, a birth rate of 1.33 per woman. As recently as 2021, 89,644 babies entered the world in Switzerland. Between 2021 and 2023, the number has fallen nearly 11%. In 2023, the fertility rate in Switzerland reached an historic low after trending down over the last decade. A doctor at a medical clinic in Geneva said a drop of around 20% over recent years can be observed across clinics in Geneva. She said there has been a fall in births across Switzerland, Europe and in countries such as Australia and the US since 2022. With global birth rates in decline, older people may need to work longer to ease the economic load on a shrinking number of young people.


Eggs, vegetables and other foods that Swiss supermarkets label as being ‘regional’, or coming from family farms (and more expensive than ‘regular’ products) often are neither, according to Swiss consumer platform K-Tipp. One example are eggs marked as being from Zurich (and sold in that canton), but which are sometimes ‘imported’ from Solothurn, Thurgau, and Graubünden. The same kind of inaccurate labelling concerns foods advertised as originating from small businesses, when in fact they are manufactured by large companies.