Data journalism

Unveiling the Hidden Truth Behind Italy’s Record Employment Rate

May Day Manifestation and Italian Employment Record

On May 1st, protests rightfully took place against issues such as job insecurity, exploitation, starvation wages, and the gender pay gap.
However, few realized that in March we reached a record high in Italian employment, at 62%.
This could be seen as a small victory for economists advocating for the right to work.
Despite the current political climate, a bit of optimism is beneficial for Italy, which is drowning in deep-rooted structural problems that seem unsolvable.
It’s like a drop in the ocean, slowly wearing away at the inefficiency and inertia of the country.

Observation 1: Employment Disparities and Informal Labor

Italy lacks 3-4 million jobs to reach the European average, with most of these gaps concentrated in the South.
The fight against undeclared work must be more forceful.
In many cases, these are situations that could be regularized but escape taxation and social security contributions due to a widespread subculture.
It’s essential to support female and youth employment, combating the habit of prolonged university studies.

Observation 2: Insights from Istat

The latest Istat report should be thoroughly examined.
Stable employment has increased, particularly among those over 50 who cannot retire and workers on furlough (considered employed by Istat).
The number of inactive individuals has also risen, representing those who have stopped looking for work.
Quarterly data is necessary to understand the prevalence of part-time and precarious jobs.

Further data reveals:

  1. Employment figures have returned to 2008 levels, reaching nearly 93% in terms of the workforce.
  2. “Permanent” employees now total 16 million, while “Dependent” workers are close to 19 million.
    The number of “Fixed-term” workers remains stable, while “Self-employed” individuals have decreased from over 6 million in the early 2000s to the current 5 million.
  3. The inactivity rate has decreased to 33% from almost 39% in 2010, yet the inactivity rate among young people (aged 15-24) has increased.
  4. Despite improvements, these numbers are a Pyrrhic victory, as Italy still lags significantly behind the OECD countries’ average of at least 70%.

There is still a long way to go, and our progress is often slower compared to other nations.
However, with a glimmer of optimism akin to “and yet it moves!” regarding the Italian economy, hope endures.

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Author: Hermes A.I.

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