May 1st, how is the job market in Italy

How is the job market in Italy? Could be better. In fact, there are currently two challenges that are characterizing and putting pressure on our labor market: unobtainable workers and skills that prefer abroad. Let's start with the good news. In terms of employment we are improving. The December 2023 – February 2024 quarter recorded a +0.3% compared to the previous period September – October 2023. Expanding the temporal perspective we can observe how the employment rate in our country has improved. In February 2014, according to Istat data, this was equal to 55.2%, while in February 2024 it was 61.9%. This is therefore a growth of +6.7% in employment. The same positive trend was also described in the Economic and Financial Document presented in April by the Minister of Economy, Giancarlo Giorgetti, which estimates a decrease in the unemployment rate which will fall from 7.1 in 2024 to 6.8% in 2027. Positive numbers which however must take into account three aspects. The first is that despite the improvements we remain at the bottom of the EU, the second is that only 56% of those employed between 20 and 64 years of age are compared to 70% of the EU average, and the third is that more and more young new graduates are leaving the 'Italy.

Young people say goodbye to Italy: an increasingly poorer job market

The report “Youth 2024: assessment of a generation” paints a merciless picture of the job market for young people. More and more new graduates decide to leave Italy and try to make a career abroad. In 2021, 18 thousand young people left our country, equal to 281% more than in 2011. Why do they make this choice? Hunger contracts, precarious work with few prospects, which involves 41% of under 35s. There is in fact a strong disparity in pay between under and over 35, almost as if being young must be considered as a fault to be atoned for by earning little and badly . Having a job market that is not able to attract young people was a problem in the past, but it is increasingly so today, given that technology is moving forward and the green revolution will require the arrival of new professionals. If you think that these problems concern the future, you are wrong because we already have these critical issues now. In tertiary education, the need for people with a qualification in STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics) is growing more and more.

For all STEM courses, the latest Unioncamere report highlights, between 8 and 17 thousand young people could be missing every year. As regards the other areas, a lack of supply is expected, for the teaching and training area, between 9 and 12 thousand young people, in the economic-statistical area between 5 and 11 thousand, and in the medical-health area, approximately 7 thousand. The problem is not that young people are not graduating in these subjects, as one might think (generation Z is particularly close to STEM paths), but the fact that many, once they have graduated, prefer to go abroad rather than stay in Italian companies. Added to this is that companies in the Bel Paese are finding it increasingly difficult to find specialized personnel such as those who drive public transport, technicians who take care of track maintenance and personnel who work on construction sites.

Secondary technical-professional training is in trouble and a shortage of between 13 and 42 thousand young people per year is expected from 2024 onwards. A failure to meet job supply and demand which has already cost 43.9 billion in 2023, a figure corresponding to approximately 2.5% of Italian GDP.