Swiss Minimum Wage - 5/28/14 | WYPR

Swiss Minimum Wage - 5/28/14

May 28, 2014

America is not the only nation wrestling with the minimum wage issue.  For instance, voters in Switzerland recently rejected what would have become the world’s highest national minimum wage, striking down a proposal for an hourly rate of 22 swiss francs per hour, which translates into 25 dollars.  As reported by Bloomberg, 76.3 percent of voters opposed the measure.  Swiss companies and the government had opposed the measure, arguing that it would have hurt the economy by increasing joblessness and triggering wage inflation across the board. 

Remarkably, nine out of ten full time workers in Switzerland already earn more than the proposed minimum wage.  According to a 2014 study published by the Zurich Labor Ministry, a gas station shop worker in Lucerne can be expected to earn nearly 3,600 Swiss francs per month, or more than $4,000 per month.  A 62-year old music teacher in another Swiss city could expect a monthly salary approaching 9,800 Swiss francs or more than $11,000 per month plus 6 weeks of vacation.  Before you go online looking for the next flight to Geneva or Zurich, it should be noted that the cost of living in Switzerland is very high.