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Press release

Labour market

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In order to facilitate assessment on the differences registered at the territorial level, this press release disseminates provincial data on labour supply on the 2015 average data and, for the first time, also those on large municipalities. Overall, the increase in employment in the last year was widespread on the territory and was more significant in the South and Islands, an area which registered the highest losses during the crisis. Also the unemployment rate decreased mainly in the Southern regions, but the gaps are still deep.

The signals of a progressive slowdown in the short time growth of Gdp started at the beginning of the year, were confirmed for the last quarter of 2015. The slightly positive dynamics led to an additional rise in the year over year growth rate, which passed to +1.0% from +0.8% of the third quarter and +0.6% in the second. This result went together with an improvement in the labour market conditions recorded by a large part of the indicators, which registered short-term increases both for the labour input as well as for the employment rate. A peculiar feature of this short-term phase is the growing gap between the positive trend of the number of employees and the persistent weakness of the self-employed. At the same time the labour demand by the industrial sector increased following what happened in the services sector.

In the fourth quarter of 2015 employment was stable, after the growth in the two previous quarters, and the increase in the North and the Centre areas was compensated by a reduction in the South and Islands area. The employment rate rose particularly among the aged 50-64, while the unemployment rate was unchanged and the inactivity rate decreased. The stability of overall employment levels summarized a relevant increase in the number of permanent employees (99 thousand more over the third quarter), offset by a drop in temporary employees (-43 thousand) and in the self-employed (-48 thousand).

Seasonally adjusted data referring to January 2016 recorded a growth in employed persons (+70 thousand) going back to August level, after the unchanged values of October and November and the decrease of December.

The year on year increase of employment recorded in the fourth quarter (+184 thousand) was almost exclusively due to men and  driven by employees, who grew by 298 thousand units, in their majority with a permanent contract (+207 thousand). Among the temporary employees the increase was due to those with a contract not exceeding 6 months. Beside the rise of full-time employees, the increase of part-time jobs was mainly related to the voluntary option.

Longitudinal data showed that after twelve months, temporary employees’ transitions towards permanent jobs grew (+3.5 points) as well as transitions from para-subordinate workers to employees (+14.4 points) both for temporary and for permanent workers. Moreover permanence in unemployment decreased (-5.1 points) and the possibility of shifting to employment (+2.1 points) or to inactivity (+3.0 points) increased.

In enterprises a relevant growth, quarter-on-quarter and year-on-year, was registered both in the number of jobs and hours worked, also due to the relevant reduction in the use of the short-time working allowance. The growth was robust in the services sector and it regarded industry as well for the first time since the second quarter of 2008. The dynamics of temporary employment agency jobs and vacancy rate, two indicators used to assess prospect trends of jobs in enterprises, highlight a quarter-on-quarter weakness associated with positive trends on an annual basis. The rise in de facto wages was higher than inflation, thus resulting in an ongoing recovery of the purchasing power gross of taxes. Social security expenses kept diminishing, due to the significant rebate associated to new hiring of permanent employees. These two trends could provide a significant input to the economic growth by supporting the consumption demand (induced by the growth of wages in real terms) and to business competitiveness (deriving from a reduction in the labour cost).

Date of next release: 9 June 2016

Reference period: Fourth quarter 2015

Date of Issue: 10 March 2016



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