For members


MAP: The best cantons for business in Switzerland

From tax rules to staffing, airport access and education - here's the latest ranking on which areas of Switzerland are the most attractive to businesses.

MAP: The best cantons for business in Switzerland

Switzerland is undoubtedly one of the major global hubs for business – its central European location, neutrality, and connections to international organisations make it a great place to do business.

But which cantons have it better and why?

The main measure cantons can take to attract businesses is to revise their tax rules, and tax reforms over the past few years have shown results in attractiveness to companies, according to Credit Suisse’s 2022 locational quality study.

READ ALSO: What is the average salary for (almost) every job in Switzerland?

The lender has assessed the tax burden based on its tax indices for legal entities and private individuals to see how attractive a region may be. Corporate taxes on profit and capital as well as taxes on income and wealth for private individuals are taken into consideration.

Additionally, the Swiss bank looked into the availability of specialist labour and highly qualified personnel, basing this index on the level of education of the residents, inbound commuters and cross-border commuters of a region.

How accessible the canton is to the population, workers, and commuters was also a factor taken into consideration.

READ ALSO: Cost of living: The most – and least – expensive cantons in Switzerland

What are the most attractive cantons?

Credit Suisse attached a locational quality indicator (LQI) to each Swiss canton, with the best being +2.5 and the worst being -2.0. The map visualisation makes it clear that there is a cluster of business-friendly cantons: in German-speaking Switzerland.

Geneva, in the French-speaking region, also scores high, which is not a surprise, as the canton is home to many international organisations.

Still, the most attractive canton for business is, for the second year in a row, Zug, ahead of Basel-City, Zurich and Geneva.

Canton Aargau has suffered the most significant ranking loss, dropping two places just behind Nidwalden and Schwyz in 7th place. On the other hand, the cantons of Schaffhausen and Valais, in particular, have become more attractive, each climbing one place.

READ ALSO: Why Switzerland is no longer the tax haven it used to be

Nidwalden, Zug, and Appenzell Innerrhoden are fiscally more attractive

Zug takes the overall top place for a combination of factors, but critical changes in tax policy have brought other cantons higher on the ranking - especially since tax reforms are easier to implement than measures to attract more qualified workers, for example.

Schaffhausen has reduced taxes significantly for private individuals, climbing six places in the Credit Suisse tax index for private individuals.

Also worthy of note is Schwyz, which has become more attractive for private individuals by reducing the cantonal tax multiple considerably from 150 to 120, closing the gap to first-placed Zug.

READ ALSO: EXPLAINED: How where you live in Switzerland impacts how much income tax you pay

As part of Switzerland’s corporate tax reform, a small number of cantons have once again reduced their corporate tax rates this year.

The most considerable reductions have been observed in the cantons of Valais and Jura, each climbing one place to 20th and 22nd respectively in the tax index for legal entities, which is based on the tax burden faced by companies with varying profit situations in all Swiss municipalities.

However, a number of other cantons remain more fiscally attractive: The top places remain unchanged, with Nidwalden leading the way, just in front of Zug and Appenzell Innerrhoden.

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For members


Teachers to tech: What wages you can expect to earn in Switzerland

Switzerland is known for the high salaries paid to employees in most industries. Here's a closer look at what you can expect to earn.

Teachers to tech: What wages you can expect to earn in Switzerland

Switzerland’s high wages have been a magnet for foreign workers for many years, including for some 300,000 cross-border commuters whose Swiss jobs typically pay more than double of what they would earn for the same positions in their own countries.

This is an overview of how much people earn in certain sectors in Switzerland and how these wages compare with those paid in other nations.

Let’s begin with teachers.

As the school year has just started in most cantons, Watson news portal has released the most recent wages paid to Swiss teachers at various levels.

This data was culled from teachers’ organisations throughout the country.

These are some of the findings:

The median annual salary for kindergarten teachers ranges from 74,737 Swiss francs for new teachers, to 112,976 francs for more seasoned ones.

At the primary-school level, the lowest rate is 78, 435 francs and the highest 117 936 francs. In secondary schools, wages range from 90,787 francs  to 136,966 francs.

The highest pay scale (103,250 francs) is at the higher-professional level.

Regionally, Zurich pays highest salaries to teachers at all levels of the educational system, with Geneva in the second place at most levels. This follows the general trend of salaries across all sectors, where wages are the highest in densely-populated, industrialised areas.

On the other hand, teachers earn the least in eastern Switzerland and Ticino, depending on levels.

You can find more detailed per-canton information, including how teacher salaries have increased over the years here.

READ MORE: What do teachers earn in Switzerland – and where do they earn the most?

How to these wages compare to those earned by teachers across Europe?

The difficulties with different statistics is that they are measured using variable criteria, so the results will vary from one source to another.

In a global survey by the EU statistics site, Statista, Switzerland ranks in the third place for teachers income, below Luxembourg and Germany, but ahead of another high-income country, Norway.

However, only wages at upper-secondary schools were taken into account in this survey, rather than overall salaries.

Salaries in other sectors

A good overview of how much people in Switzerland earn in various industries comes from a report from released in March 2022 by the Federal Statistics Office and reported by The Local.

With an average monthly gross income of 6,555 francs, Switzerland has the highest average salary in Europe.

Around one in ten Swiss residents are considered ‘low wage earners’, which means they take home less than two thirds of the median wage each month (4,443 francs). 

Perhaps unsurprisingly, average salaries in the finance industry — 10,211 francs —per month are the highest of any sector. They are followed by workers in the pharmaceutical sector (10,040 francs), followed by 9,200 francs for those in IT. 

At the lower end of the spectrum, workers in hospitality earn 4,479 francs per month and those in the retail sector make 4,997 francs per month. 

The lowest wage category in Switzerland is the ‘personal services sector’, which includes hairdressers, beauticians and undertakers. Workers in that category earn 4,211 francs per month before tax. 

Jobs in the middle of the pack with averages reflecting the national median include the healthcare sector (6,821 francs) and manufacturing (7,141 francs). 

READ MORE: What is the average salary for (almost) every job in Switzerland

International comparison

How does the average monthly gross income of 6,555 francs compare to other nations?

Looking at neighbouring countries only, the median monthly salary in Germany is 4,100 euros (3,931 francs at the current exchange rate); 2,340 euros (2,245.50 francs) in France; 2,333 euros in Italy (2,238 francs); and 2,182 euros in Austria (2,238 francs).

These wages are much lower than in Switzerland, but so is the cost of living in those countries

On the other hand, average wages are higher than Switzerland’s neighbours in Norway (44.150 kroner per month — 5,694 francs — 44,514  kroner in Denmark (5,694 francs), 46,000 kroner in Sweden (4,154 francs), and 4,910 euros (4,710 francs) in Luxembourg.

READ MORE : Do wages in Switzerland make up for the high cost of living?