Zurich
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Updated 2 months ago

Zurich is usually the preferred destination in Switzerland for expats. Being the country's economic and financial centre, Zurich offers various professional opportunities in different fields. With a labour market that is not stifled by many regulations, moderate taxes, a very high quality of life and a vibrant economy, it’s not hard to see why 80% of Switzerland’s largest companies are located here or close by.

Economy and labour market

Zurich has been touted, “the economic motor of Switzerland” and it is also one of the most important financial centers in the whole of Europe, if not the whole world. For Switzerland, Zurich makes up about 25% of the country's Gross Domestic Product (GDP). It should be noted that the finance sector accounts for about one-third of that wealth, as well as for about a quarter of the jobs available. But other sectors such as biotech, medtech, automotive, aerospace, creative industries, etc., have also experienced significant growth over the years.

The labour market in Zurich is considered very liberal and the most dynamic in all of Europe, with a current unemployment rate of only 3%. So if you are planning to settle in the Zurich canton, you will probably not encounter too many problems finding a job. However, you are advised to inquire about existing regulations and available before moving, as you will probably need a work permit to get started. Consult our section on Work Permits for further information.

Job hunting

Zurich is in Switzerland's German-speaking regions, so a good knowledge of German is not only advantageous but, in some cases, necessary. Although there are many multinational companies and banks that will simply require a perfect command of English, many of the local job-hunting tools and platforms are in German – so it will help with your search to understand the language.

You can start your search by checking out job offers in classified ads in local newspapers and on the internet. There are many daily newspapers with special job sections like the Stellen-Anzeiger section in Tages-Anzeiger, the NZZexecutive section in Neue Zürcher Zeitung, or the Alpha section in SonntagsZeitung. Online, Stellenlinks (scroll to the end of the article for link) is a good example of a platform where you can find a variety of links to company employment websites, search machines, as well as public and private agencies. There are also helpful tips on websites like the Business and Economic Development Division of the Canton of Zürich or the Arbeitsmarkt, where you can also find information about the regional employment centres.

You can also register with a recruitment agency.

Wages

In general, salaries in Zurich are negotiated individually (unless there is a collective agreement for your particular sector), but the average wage in the area is higher than the one prevailing in the Swiss Confederation. You can expect an average salary of CHF 6,560 instead of the rest of the country’s average of CHF 6,210. Zurich, however, remains the city where the cost of living is the highest.

 Useful links:

Cantonal immigration and labour market authorities
Official website of the Canton of Zurich
Jobs in Zurich
Stellenlinks
Arbeitsmarkt

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