One of the world's most stable economies, Switzerland follows a first world model of long term monetary security and political stability. It is often considered a safe haven for investors and depends heavily on foreign investment.
Industry and trade are crucial to the Swiss economy as the country is small in size and highly specialized in labor training. Switzerland has a balanced budget, generates some of the highest per capita incomes in the world and boasts low unemployment rates with a service sector that plays an increasingly significant role.
The Swiss workforce is charactarized as being skilled and generally peaceful. Over one quarter of the country's workers are unionized. Labor and management relations are usually painted as amicable, and the two parties are usually quick to settle disputes. Over 600 collective bargaining agreements exist in Switzerland today and are generally renewed with no conflict.
This situation, however, has changed to a degree with the global economic recession, major management scandals and different foreign investment attitudes which have put a strain on traditional Swiss labor peace.
In terms of private income, Switzerland is among the world's most prosperous countries. In 2007, the gross median household income was estimated to be $137, 094 at purchasing power parity. The median income was $95,824 at purchasing power parity.