In its latest economic survey of Switzerland, the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) praises the country’s handling of the coronavirus pandemic. The Swiss economy and labour market have been resilient during the crisis up to now, writes the OECD. It recommends that the extraordinary state support measures be dismantled as soon as the situation allows and makes suggestions on how the potential of the Swiss workforce could be better utilised.
The 2022 country report on the Swiss economy gives Switzerland a high score on its pandemic response and highlights the resilience of the Swiss economy during the crisis. According to the OECD, Switzerland benefited from good economic framework conditions, internationally competitive industries and companies, and a relatively low economic dependence on the tourism and entertainment sectors. Generous support measures from the state as well as health policy restrictions, which have been less restrictive compared to other countries, have also contributed to getting through the crisis. The OECD report also praises the solid state of public finances despite the pandemic, and the relatively low public debt.
Dismantle extraordinary measures as soon as possible
Although economic development is solid overall, there are significant differences between various sectors and companies according to the OECD analysis. In terms of economic recovery, the current challenge lies in continuing to support sectors and vulnerable groups severely affected by the crisis while simultaneously adapting to demand-driven structural changes. State support measures should therefore remain available where necessary, according to the OECD, but should otherwise be withdrawn. It recommends, for example, that companies again increase their contribution to short-time working compensation via a “waiting period” once the majority of health policy restrictions have been lifted.
Special focus on the Swiss labour market
The latest OECD report focuses on an analysis of the labour market. It praises the well-functioning Swiss labour market, which has a high participation rate, low unemployment, a highly qualified workforce and well-paid jobs. The labour market proved its resilience during the COVID-19 crisis, due in part to the temporary measures to protect employment and provide income support. According to the OECD, an even more inclusive labour market would support economic recovery and boost productivity. Women and older workers in particular should be better integrated into the labour market. The OECD specifically recommends, among other things, that Switzerland adjust the statutory retirement age in light of increasing life expectancy, strengthen employment incentives in the tax system and improve access to childcare services.
Further information on the report can be found on the following website: www.oecd.org/economy/switzerland-economic-snapshot
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