The labour input, as measured by hours worked, increases both by 0.7% compared to the previous quarter and by 3.1% compared to the fourth quarter of 2021. However, in the same period GDP decreases by 0.1% quarter-on-quarter and increases by 1.4% year-on-year.
The number of employed people, in the fourth quarter of 2022, increased by 120 thousand units (+0.5%) compared to the previous quarter: the increase in permanent employees (+166 thousand, +1.1%) has more than offset the drop in temporary employees (-36 thousand, -1.2% in three months) and self-employed (-9 thousand, -0.2%); both the number of unemployed (-30 thousand, -1.5% in three months) and the number of inactive people aged 15-64 (-108 thousand, -0.8%) are decreasing. The rates show a similar trend: the employment rate rises to 60.6% (+0.4 points), the unemployment rate falls to 7.8% (-0.1 points) and the inactivity rate of 15-64 year olds drops to 34.2% (-0.3 points). Monthly seasonally adjusted provisional data referred January 2023, compared to the previous month, point to an increase in the number of employed people (+35 thousand, +0.2%), the increase in the unemployed (+33 thousand, +1.7%) and the decrease in inactive people aged 15-64 (-83 thousand, -0.7%); this results in an increase in the employment and unemployment rates (+0.1 points in both cases) and a decrease in the inactivity rate (-0.2 points).
Also a year-over-year perspective, the increase in employment (+353 thousand units, +1.5% in one year) involves only permanent employees (+3.1%), since both the number of temporary employees (-3.0%) and that of self-employed (-0.4%) are decreasing; compared to the fourth quarter of 2021, the decrease of the unemployed (-276 thousand in one year, -12.1%) and inactive people aged 15-64 (-247 thousand, -1.9% in one year) continued. This trend is reflected in the growth in the employment rate (+1.2 points compared to the fourth quarter of 2021) which is associated with the decrease in the unemployment and inactivity rates (-1.1 and -0.5 points, respectively).
On the enterprise side, labor demand shows on a quarterly basis a slight increase in total employee jobs equal to 0.2%, as a result of an increase in the full-time component (+0.5%) and a decrease of part-time (-0.5%). On an annual basis, total employee jobs continue to rise with a slower dynamic compared to previous year – settling at +2.8% – with a more marked increase in the full-time component (+3.6%) compared to the part-time (+0.7%). The hours worked per employee show an increase both on a quarterly basis (0.1%) and an on annual one (0.4%). The use of short-time working allowances fell to 8.3 hours per 1,000 hours worked (-20.2 hours per 1,000 hours worked with respect to the fourth quarter 2021). The job vacancy rate increases to the same extent either when compared to the previous quarter or with the same quarte of the previous year (by 0.2 percentage points). On a quarterly basis, total labour cost recorded an increase of 0.5%, as a synthesis of the growth in wages (+0.4%) and, to a greater extent, in social security contributions (+0.6%); on an annual basis, labour cost increased by 1.1%, due to the growth in wages and salaries (+1%) and in social security contributions (+1.4%).
In the average of 2022, the increase of over half a million in the number of employed (+545 thousand, +2.4%) is associated with a reduction in the number of unemployed (-339 thousand, -14.3%) and the number of inactive people aged 15-64 (-484 thousand, 3.6%). The employment rate of 15-64 year old rises to 60.1% (+1.9 percentage points in one year), the unemployment rate falls by 1.4 percentage points and the inactivity rate of 15-64 year old by 1.1 points.This evidence is also confirmed by the dynamics of labour input variables: the growth of jobs (+4.7%) and of total hours worked (7.9%), as well as the decrease in the use of short-time working allowance hours (-20.2 each 1,000 hours worked).