Were the Swiss Right? Permits for EU Workers Hit All-Time High

GENEVA, SWITZERLAND – Statistics provided by the State Secretariat for Economics (SECO) on 9 July 2014 – confirms the theory that right-wing groups used as fuel to pass a referendum on immigration: the number of European Union workers grew to a whooping 66,200 in 2013 – the highest number since the 2002 free movement agreement with the EU went into effect.

The foreign population increased about 0.92% per year, said SECO, thus responding to a growing need and appetite for “skilled workers”.

At least 58% of all new EU workers have post-secondary degrees while the number of unskilled workers coming from the EU-EFTA region decreased to a mere 14%.

The heated 2013 election that saw the revision of the EU free movement agreement used this argument – that of massive numbers of foreign workers – to curtail EU immigration.

The question however, remains. If the Swiss are not producing enough “skilled workers” how will the Swiss economy continue to grow and what will the Swiss do to promote higher education rates among its residents?

Full disclaimer, while I am not a EU citizen, I make part of that foreign-worker contingent.

Read the full report here (in French or German only).

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