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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?

Excelsior information system set up by Unioncamere and ANPAL

Employment: 305,000 entries expected by companies for April 2021

+14 thousand compared to the previous month but the gap with pre-Covid levels is still high (110 thousand less than April 2019)

Rome, 16 April 2021 - There are 305 thousand hirings planned by companies for April and 984 thousand for the April-June quarter. Almost 14 thousand more employment contracts compared to March 2021 (+4.7%) but there are still 110 thousand fewer contracts compared to April 2019 (-26.4%). This is what the monthly bulletin of the Excelsior Information System, produced by Unioncamere and Anpal, shows.

For April, industry is planning 115,000 entries (+5,000 compared to the previous month). There are 68,000 contracts planned by the manufacturing sectors, in addition to 5,000 planned entries from the Public Utilities and around 42,000 planned entries from the construction sector. Among the manufacturing sectors, the mechanical and electronic industries (18,000 entries), the metallurgical and metal products industries (17,000) and the food, beverages and tobacco industries (10,000) stand out in particular.

Services, on the other hand, forecast 190 thousand employment contracts to be signed in April: 9 thousand more than the previous month but 110 thousand less than April 2019. Tourism and commerce are the sectors that record the greatest tendential decrease in the demand for labour - always compared to the pre-Covid period - respectively with -76 thousand (-77.4%) and -13 thousand entries (-21.9%). Positive dynamics only for ICT and advanced services for which we report respectively 3 thousand more entries (+28.5%) and about 800 more (+4.5%) than expected in April 2019.

The share of recruitments for which companies declare difficulties in finding candidates (32%) is still significant, also as a result of a high demand for experience, which increases compared to the pre-Covid situation, rising from 67.8% in April 2019 to the current 70.3%. The sectors most in need of experienced candidates include construction (83% of entries require experience), IT and telecommunications services and personal services (80%), and textiles, clothing and footwear (78%).

According to the Excelsior Job Exchange for April 2021, the most sought-after figures are skilled workers (just over 58,000 entries), with an increasing demand compared to April 2019 for some profiles related to construction. This is followed by skilled trades and services professions (around 57,800 entries), with a drop on 2019 for the main figures in the group (sales and restaurant workers). In comparison with April 2019, demand is growing especially for the most highly specialised professions (22,600 entries), thanks mainly to STEM profiles and those related to life sciences.

Source: Excelsior Information System, Unioncamere-ANPAL, 2021

Short overview of the labour market:

Short overview of the labour market

The Italian labour market differs widely between the regions, with industrial activity mostly concentrated in the north, with the southern regions dedicated mainly to agriculture and tourism.

The Italian population is declining significantly, with a negative natural balance of -214 262 at 31 December 2019, mitigated mostly by the migratory flows of recent years.

As at 31 December 2019, the Italian population stood at over 60 million (60 244 639). Population density is highest in the following regions: Lombardy, Lazio, Veneto and Liguria.

Between 2020 and 2024, the Italian economic system will have to replace more than 2.5 million people currently in work, as they reach retirement age or for other reasons. This figure, coupled with the expected increases (or decreases) in employment based on possible annual GDP trends, will result in a total employment need of between 1.9 and 2.7 million workers.

This is illustrated by the results of the latest update (July 2020) of the employment needs forecasting model developed under the Excelsior Information System by Unioncamere. The model is based on two possible scenarios according to whether the economy expands or contracts: under scenario A (baseline scenario), in the 5-year period 2020-2024, economic growth could generate an increase of 179 000 people in work compared to 2019, with highly uneven distribution across the various sectors; under scenario B (adverse scenario), the number of people in work would fall by about 556 000 people by the end of the 5-year period.

The two scenarios are based on the GDP estimates published in the Italian government’s Economic and Financial Document (DEF 2020): scenario A assumes a fall in real GDP of 8 % in 2020 and a partial recovery of 4.7 % in 2021, while scenario B assumes a GDP fall of -10.6 % in 2020, with +2.3 % recovery in 2021.

A climate of uncertainty due to the Covid-19 pandemic permeates the autumn of 2020, with 789 000 recruitments planned by enterprises over the 3-month period August-October, down -25.5 % year-on-year.

The contraction might be due to the businesses’ lack of operating liquidity. Almost 780 000 businesses (58.4 % of the total) expect to experience problems in the next 6 months, against slightly under 565 000 expecting an improvement in their financial situation. The slump in demand triggered by the Covid-19 pandemic and the uncertainty about when a recovery is likely to happen, heightened by the widespread disruption in global markets, make many companies fear that they will not be able to generate the necessary cash flow to ensure normal business operations. 

Micro enterprises (with one to nine employees) have been those worst hit, with 60.4 % reporting insufficient liquidity levels, a situation that significantly improves the larger the company is, with a figure of 44.0 % reported in businesses with more than 250 employees. 

The catering industry and services linked to tourism are the worst-hit sectors, with important business segments, such as those linked to foreign tourism in heritage cities, showing only very small signs of recovery. Other personal services (which also include recreational, cultural and sports activities) and private education and training are also experiencing a severe contraction.

In the manufacturing industry, the fashion industry has been the worst hit by the lockdown, followed by the wood and furniture and paper industries. 

Seasonal work and agriculture

The Covid-19 emergency and the resulting border closures have particularly affected seasonal work and the agricultural sector, which have undergone a severe crisis. In order to mitigate the situation, Law No 27 of 24 April 2020 extended to 31 August 2020 all the residence permits for seasonal workers expiring between 31 January 2020 and 31 July 2020.

Subsequently, Decree-Law No 34 of 19 May 2020 (‘Relaunch Decree’) confirmed and extended eligibility for the allowance of EUR 600 (introduced in April) to other categories of workers whose activity or employment relationship had been terminated, reduced or suspended. In particular, the Decree introduced support schemes for seasonal and agricultural workers.

Unioncamere – ANPAL, Excelsior information system: press releases of 21 and 25 August 2020

Text last edited on: 11/2020

Hot jobs:

The sectors most in need of experienced candidates include construction (83% of entries require experience), IT and telecommunications services and personal services (80%), and textiles, clothing and footwear (78%).

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