Italy: a country without young workers

Italy: a country without young workers


Italy is one of the European countries that has suffered most from the economic crisis. Its unemployment rate and the number of people at risk of poverty and social exclusion have seriously increased between 2009 and 2013, and the most damaged group was young people. Today, the number of young people between age 15-29 who are disemployed is 25%; follow, the number of young people in NEET condition is 23,4%, and the number of youngsters at risk of poverty and social isolation is 35%. In comparison to the European average, these levels are extremely high, and according to the database of the National Statistic Institute (ISTAT), the quality of life for young people seems to not have improved in the last years[1].


During the crisis, the Italian government reacted by producing policies to support middle-aged workers, creating a situation in which for young people it has became more difficult to enter in the labor market due to the lower number of workers retired. For this reason, from 2009 to 2018 the number of Italians emigrated to another country to live and work has increased, in particular, for young people between the ages of 18 and 34 who today are 32.017 million (37% of the total Italian population residing abroad). The most attractive countries for Italians are Germany and Great Britain, but also France, Switzerland, and Spain are becoming popular between young people who are searching for better job opportunities. Moreover, young people who have the opportunity to move are usually in possession of a good level of education and capabilities for finding a job, and they are supported by families with middle-high wages.


Therefore, the risk for Italy is remaining without young workers with skills in strategic sectors which can contribute to the growth of its economy. The most damaged areas from this trend are the Italian region of the South in which the migration of young people is not compensated by the arrivals of new workers, such as in the North and in the Center areas where the industries and activities attract workers all over the nation.


To overcome this issue, the Italian government has to create more inclusive policies to increase the presence of young people in the labor market, to involve them in the decision-making process, and to give them better opportunities for living. At the same time, Italy has to invest more capitals in education, research, and progress, given that without development it is impossible to create new workplaces for youngsters[2].


This article has been written by Daniela Faccioli about the project Workpetence which is co-funded by the Erasmus+ Programme of the European Union. The European Commission support for the production of this publication does not constitute an endorsement of the contents which reflects the views only of the authors, and the Commission cannot be held responsible for any use which may be made of the information contained therein.


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