The labour market in Italy

The number of persons in employment did not drop significantly, thanks to the measures rolled out by the government and recourse to forms of furlough. The decline in the numbers of hours worked was mostly concentrated in the construction and private services sectors. Female employment was particularly hard-hit as women often comprise a sizeable portion of those sectors affected heavily by the health emergency, such as tourism, as was employment of young people between 15 and 24 years of age, who are most often employed on term contracts.

Recourse to furlough (CIG) peaked in the number of hours authorised for the April/May two-month period (€863.1 million), to then halve in July/August (€388.2 million). However, figures provided by INPS (the Italian social security institution) indicate that Italian companies used less than half of the hours requested in the first half of 2020.

Both the employment rate1 (58.1%) and the participation rate (64.5%) rose considerably in the summer months, although both are one percentage point lower than before the health crisis.

  1. August 2020.