Re: Swiss Fed Govt Holding 50% Non-EU Work Permits
Yes, they do. All applications go first to the canton and then up to Federal.
It could be that some are held back for NGO's (UN, CERN, etc). I don't know how Ci permits, etc, are processed - whether it's the same as for normal permits i.e. via the canton also - or just straight from the Federal side.
In answer to question 2, no I don't think they're distributed equally because not all cantons need them in the same quantities. Zurich would obviously need more than Glarus for example.