Around 320,000 jobs in Switzerland are considered low paid, earning a gross monthly salary of under CHF4,335 ($4,400), according to the most recent nationwide statistics.
In 2016, 12% of Swiss workers earned such a low monthly salary, the Federal Statistical Office (OFS) reported on Mondayexternal link.
The OFS uses the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) measure, which calculates that a low salary is less than 75% of the median gross national wage for a 40-hour week job.
The OFS said 17% of female workers in Switzerland had a low paid job in 2016, compared to 7.6% of men.
The main low-paid sectors were personal services – which includes hairdressing and cleaning firms – the retail sector, the food and restaurant industry, and hotels and accommodation.
Canton Ticino had the highest percentage of low salary earners (24.7% of the total) – almost double the national average. In north-west Switzerland this percentage fell to 7.8%, while it was 12% in eastern Switzerland.
Half of all low paid jobs (53.8%) were done by foreign residents. And almost 50% of poorly paid work (46.4%) was offered by companies with fewer than 50 staff.