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Where are the available workers?

Office clerks and low-skilled workers are the profiles currently least sought by enterprises at the moment. The digital transformation, defined according to Industry 4.0, is affecting all jobs and necessitating digital reskilling of all workers, without which they are left out of the jobs market.

Therefore the greatest difficulties are faced by low-skilled workers, young people who have dropped out of school and, to some extent, young graduates in some non-technical subjects.

For some occupations (especially some young graduates), the difficulty is in finding work commensurate with their educational level, whereas young people without further education and low-skilled workers (sometimes foreign) often experience difficulty finding any job.

ISTAT, Quarterly Note on Employment Trends, Q4 2018.


‘Excelsior informa’ bulletin – Q2 2019




Where are the available jobs?

According to figures from the Excelsior information system set up by Unioncamere and ANPAL, industry is showing an overall growth in contracts equating to around 11 000 more new recruits than last year, across all sectors (+9.5 %).

Sectors dedicated to export, such as mechanical engineering and metallurgy, are highly positive. In particular Sistema Moda [Federation of the Italian Textile and Fashion Industry] shows an increase of more than 1 300 jobs compared with May 2018.

Employment is rising especially in the North (+1.4 %) and Centre (+0.3 %), whereas it has fallen for the second quarter running in the South and islands.

Service industries, however, are showing a 2 % drop compared with the previous period.

Growth is also recorded for the construction sector, with forecast recruitment over 10% higher than the same period last year.

The number of businesses recruiting remains stable. The portion of posts rated hard to fill, as a percentage of total expected new jobs, and recorded in the past 3 months, is 28%.

There is increasing demand for specialist manual workers and machinery operators (+11 % on May 2018). Smelters, welders, sheet metal workers (59 %) and operators of automatic and semi-automatic machinery for mechanical processing and mineral products (52.9 %) are in especially short supply.

On a geographical basis, an increase in new jobs is recorded in the regions of Central Italy (nearly +8 000) while there is a dip in the South and islands (-8 000) and a slight decline in demand from the regions of the North-East (-2 000), which is offset by planned new employment in the North-West (+6 000).

The economic sectors where most new jobs are predicted are as follows:

  • services (983 480)
  • industry (380 130)
  • construction (104 860).

Looking at occupations, in percentages, 38.4 % of jobs will be for white collar workers/commercial employees and services; 30.6 % for specialist workers and plant and machinery operators; 16 % for unskilled occupations; and 15 % for highly specialised technical professions.

The greatest demand on the jobs market will be for the following, subdivided into broad occupational groups:

  1. skilled occupations in commercial activities (127 670 vacancies)
  2. specialist workers (69 530 vacancies)
  3. unskilled occupations (68 540 vacancies)
  4. plant operators and operators of fixed or mobile machinery (61 950)
  5. technical professions (44 940)
  6. academic, scientific and highly specialised professions (18 790)


The following positions are hard to fill:

  1. mathematicians, computer scientists and chemists (58.1 %)
  2. computer scientists (57.7 %)
  3. engineering technicians (56.7 %)
  4. managers (56.5 %)
  5. engineers and similar professions (52.2 %)
  6. management, business and banking specialists (40.4 %)
  7. smelters, welders, sheet metal workers and structural metalwork erectors (59 %)

Geographical spread of planned new recruitment for 2019:

Italy: 429 640 jobs, of which 123 100 jobs are in the North-West, 11 730 in the South and islands, 107 900 in the North-East and 86 910 in the Centre.

‘Excelsior informa’ bulletin – Q2 2019



Short overview of the labour market:


Short overview of the labour market


ISTAT figures show that, on 1 January 2019, Italy had a resident population of 60 391 000, down 90 000 on 2018.

The number of Italian citizens has declined to 55 157 000, whereas resident foreign citizens numbered 5 234 000, accounting for about 8.7 % of the total population.

There were 449 000 births in 2018, 9 000 fewer than recorded in 2017.

The natural balance between births and deaths is negative (-187 000), the second lowest after the all-time low of 2017 (-191 000).

On the other hand, the balance of migration to/from foreign countries is positive, with a slight increase recorded on 2017. Both immigration (+1.7 %) and emigration (+3.1 %) are up.

There are very wide regional differences in the labour market.

A slight fall in employment had already been observed in the fourth quarter of 2018. This was confirmed in May 2019 by a quarterly rise in contracts of employment (+14 000 compared with May 2018), while demand for labour is again showing a positive annual trend (+4 000 compared with May 2018).

In the first quarter of 2019, there were signs of economic recovery, with a slight (0.1%) quarterly rise in recruitment (+25 000) after two periods in which the number of jobs had fallen.

At the end of 2018, the figure for seasonally adjusted employment stood at 58.8%, in line with the previous quarter, with a slight rise for women and a fall for men.

A quarterly downturn was recorded in self-employment (-0.4 %) in the last quarter of 2018, the effect of which is to slow the growth rate (+12 000 employed persons, +0.2 %). On the other hand, an increase in employed posts was recorded, especially in the service sector and industry.

On the other hand, in its annual trend for 2019, ISTAT records a rise of 144 000 people in work (0.6 % in 1 year), both on contracts of employment (+92 000) and self-employed (+52 000). While there is a rise in full-time employment, the main rise is in part-time working, with paid part-timers accounting for 64.1 % of the workforce.

The growth recorded above relates to market services (+46 000 jobs) and industrial production (+16 000), while agriculture continues to decline (-11 000 jobs).

On the other hand, according to the statistics recorded at the end of 2018, the annual trend in employment was +87 000 jobs, with falls in the numbers of job seekers (-105 000) and of non-working persons (-100 000).

Employment is rising in 2019, especially in the North (+1.4 %) and in Central Italy (+0.3%), whereas it has fallen for the second quarter running in the South and on the islands.

The number of unemployed is falling (-138 000, -4.6 %). This applies to both sexes, to various parts of Italy and to age groups except the over-50s, an age group which had seen a rise in employment in the last quarter of 2018.

The number of non-working people aged 15-64 is falling (-130 000 in a year, -1.0 %).

Analysis of immigration flow data – based on figures that are 12 months old – indicates a fall in long-term employment, especially in the southern regions and in the 55-64 age band, who are moving into retirement.

As for companies, in 2019 demand for labour continues to rise, with a 1.7 % increase on an annualised basis. This is due to growth in industry and services, though reliance on the Wages Guarantee Fund (CIG) remains at a high level, though less widespread.

The rate of vacancies is generally steady in 2019, but rising on an annual basis (0.1 %). The cost of labour is increasing (1.2 %) compared with the previous quarter and now stands 3.4 % higher than the same quarter last year, reflecting increases in pay and social security contributions.

ISTAT, Quarterly Note on Employment Trends, Q4 2018.

Unioncamere-ANPAL, Excelsior information system: Press release, first four months of 2019 – 17/06/2019

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