ZURICH (Reuters) – Record numbers of Swiss companies have applied for government aid to overcome shutdowns and reduced output as the coronavirus outbreak grips the country, the government said on Monday.
So far in March 21,000 companies have applied for support to help 315,000 workers put on short working hours, Boris Zuercher, head of the labor department at the State Secretariat for Economic Affairs, told a news conference in Bern.
The figure was significantly more than the 11,000 workers affected in February, and well above the 5,000 companies and 92,000 workers who applied for compensation at the peak of the global financial crisis in 2009.
“This increase is unparalleled,” Zuercher said. “In most of the industries, more applications are expected in the next few days. Unemployment insurance is prepared for this.”
Switzerland last week announced an extra 32 billion Swiss franc ($32.61 billion) aid package to support companies and workers hit by the widening outbreak….
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