Switzerland's doing fine
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Switzerland's doing fine

The Swiss rate their national and personal economic situation positively.

Is the Swiss economy headed toward a boom or bust? Both scenarios seem possible right now. So we asked Swiss voters what they think of the country's economic prospects. The results are in and respondents take a surprisingly positive view, both in terms of their own personal situations and the national economy.

Although digitalization, automation and their impact on jobs have been widely discussed and debated, the attitudes expressed by survey respondents toward new technologies range largely from pragmatic to positive. More than 60 percent either "strongly agree" or "agree" with these statements: Digitalization "improves quality of life," "makes it easier to navigate the labor market," "improves working conditions" and "makes it easier for potential employers to fi nd employees." Between 40 percent and over 50 percent of respondents also agreed with the more critical statements, that the new technologies "generally reduce opportunities on the labor market" and that "employers expect around-the-clock availability" of their employees. Thirty-five percent find that "digitalization is overwhelming." That is one in three survey respondents, but the general trend toward technology friendliness is also reflected in the fact that only 10 percent said that they believe their job would be automated within the next five years. Last year, 22 percent worried about losing their jobs to automation (but within 20 years). In general, unemployment is less of a concern than it has been in years past, as the worry rankings show.

So, it makes sense that individuals take a positive view of their current economic situation and future prospects: Ninety-two percent said they are doing "fairly well," "well" or "very well." This response has been consistently high since 1995. For the next 12 months, 75 percent believe they can maintain their current situation, 12 percent expect things to improve and 10 percent expect circumstances to worsen. Entrepreneur and philanthropist Jobst Wagner shares our survey respondents' view but also sees a number of challenges ahead for companies in Switzerland. He says, "There's no juice left to squeeze from this lemon," and is demanding that the government take measures to shore up Swiss business.

Finally, survey respondents were asked to compare the Swiss economy with the rest of the world. The results are clear: We Swiss are far better off. That view has become even more prevalent in the last 15 years, with 64 percent saying that the Swiss economy is doing better and 31 percent that it is doing much better. In 2004, those fi gures were 72 percent and 8 percent, respectively.