In the second quarter of 2017 Italian economy recorded a quarter-on-quarter 0.4% increase of Gdp and a year-on-year 1.5% growth. Overall, in the Euro area economy grew by 0.6% over the previous quarter and by 2.2% over the same quarter of 2016. Signs of consolidation in the economic activity growth, particularly in the industry (excl. constructions) and services sectors, were associated to the labour absorption by a production system that continued to expand in line with Gdp trends: the total hours worked grew by 0.5% to the previous quarter and by 1.4% on an annual basis, thus confirming the high employment intensity of the ongoing recovery.
On the labour supply side, in the second quarter of 2017, employment showed a new growth on a quarter-on-quarter basis (+78 thousand, 0.3%), due to a further increase of employees (+149 thousand, +0.9%) – in more than 8 out of 10 cases – with a fixed-term contract (+123 thousand, +4.8%). The self-
employed continued to decrease (-71 thousand, -1.3%). The employment rate grew by 0.2 points to the previous quarter. Most recent data, the seasonally adjusted ones for July 2017, showed an increase in employed persons (+0.3% on June, corresponding to +59 thousand units), involving both employees and the self-employed.
The dynamics between the second quarter 2017 and the same period of the previous year led to an increase of 153 thousand employed persons (+0.7%) involving employees only (+356 thousand, +2.1%), more than three third of which with a fixed-term contract, while the self-employed showed a significant decrease (-3.6%). The increase in absolute terms was more substantial for full-time employees, and part-time employment increased mostly in the voluntary component. Employment growth involved both genders and all geographical areas, and was more evident among women and in the North area.
Unemployment rate decreased by 0.4 percentage points to the previous quarter and by 0.6 percentage
points year-over-year, especially among the young. In July 2017, the unemployment rate grew by 0.2 points while the inactivity rate (15-64 years) dropped by 0.3 points
In the year-on-year comparison, the reduction in the number of the inactive aged 15-64 (-76 thousand in a year) and the corresponding inactivity rate (-0.1 points) slowed down over the last quarters. Inactivity reduction involved only women, especially in the South and islands, people aged 35-49, and persons willing to work.
Changes in stock suggested significant changes in people’s conditions in the labour market, as measured by flow data over a twelve-month period. Overall, transitions from fixed-term to permanent employee continued to decrease (from 24.3% to 16.5%). While total transitions from unemployment to employment declined (-3.1 points), flows from unemployment to fixed term employment increased (+0.9 points). As regards the inactive, among potential labour forces the largest increase was recorded in the percentage of
transitions towards unemployment (from 18.5% to 21.3% over the last twelve months).
As for enterprises, the signs of growth in labour demand were confirmed, with a 1.1% increase in employee jobs over the previous quarter, as a result of a rise in both industry and services. Hours worked per employee increased over the previous quarter (+0.2%), while they decreased on a yearly basis (-0.7%), even if the short-time working allowance hours continued to decrease. The vacancy rate increased by 0.1 percentage points on the previous quarter. On a quarterly basis, wages and salaries decreased (-0.1%) as well as social contributions (-0.5%).