The labour input, as measured by hours worked, increases both by 1.3% compared to the previous quarter and by 3.3% compared to the first quarter of 2022. In the same period GDP increases by 0.6% quarter-on-quarter and by 1.9% year-on-year.
In the first quarter of 2023, the number of employed people increased by 104,000 compared to the fourth quarter of 2022 (+0.4%): the increase involves permanent employees (+92,000, +0.6%) and self-employed (+27,000, +0.5%), while temporary employees a slight decrease (-15,000, -0.5% in three months). The growth in the number of unemployed people (+23,000, +1.2% in three months) is accompanied by a decrease in the inactive population aged 15-64 (-150,000, -1.2%). The rates show a similar trend: the employment rate rose to 60.9% (+0.3 percentage points), the unemployment rate increased to 8.0% (+0.1 percentage points), and the inactivity rate for the 15-64 age group decreased to 33.7% (-0.4 percentage points). The provisional seasonally adjusted data for April 2023 indicate a further increase in the number of employed people (+48,000, +0.2%) compared to the previous month, along with a decrease in the number of unemployed (-14,000, -0.7%) and inactive people (-25,000, -0.2%); this results in an increase in the employment rate (+0.1 percentage points) and a decrease in both the unemployment and inactivity rates (-0.1 percentage points in both cases).
Also a year-on-year, the increase in employment (+513,000 units, +2.3% in one year) involves permanent employees (+3.7%) and self-employed (+1.0%), while the number of temporary employees decreases (-2.7%); compared to the first quarter of 2022, the number of unemployed people continues to decrease (-76,000 in one year, -3.5%) as well as the number of inactive individuals aged 15-64 (-558,000, -4.3%). This trend is reflected in the growth of the employment rate (+1.5 percentage points compared to the first quarter of 2022) and the decrease in the unemployment and inactivity rates (-0.5 and -1.4 percentage points, respectively).
On the enterprise side, on a quarterly basis, the growth of total employee jobs intensifyes, growing overall by 1.1%, as a result of marked growth of the full-time component (+1%) and an upward rise of the part-time component (+1.4%). Also on an annual basis, total employee jobs show a marked increase equal to 3.1%, as a consequence of a more incisive increase for the full-time component (+3.6%) compared to the part-time (+1.7%).The hours worked per employee show an increase both on a quarterly basis (1.9%) and an on annual one (4.6%). The use of short-time working allowances falls to 8.7 hours per 1,000 hours worked (-4.6 hours per 1,000 hours worked with respect to the first quarter 2022). The job vacancy rate decreases by 0.3 compared to the previous quarter and increases by 0.1 percentage points compared to the same quarter of the previous year. In this quarter, the total labour cost recordes a considerable growth, with values among the highest in time series. On a quarterly basis, the 1.8% growth in the labor cost is due to the increase in both components, wages and salaries (+1.2%) and social security contributions (+3%). On annual basis, the growth of the total labour cost shows an even more marked increase (+3.9%), affecting both wages and salaries (+3.4%) and, a higher pace, social security contributions (+5.4%). Main reasons for the rise of wages and salaries are the payment of una tantum, whose effect is particularly evident in services sector; the increase of social contribution is a consequance of a restriction of the contribution relief applied in 2021 and 2022.