The general framework of the productive structure of the Italian economy is characterised by the persisting financial crisis which caused a dramatic fall in the number of enterprises. Although the number of enterprises per 1,000 inhabitants decreased, their average size in Italy remained stable in 2013 at about 4 employees; micro-enterprises therefore still play a non-negligible role in the entire productive system. Micro-enterprises in the service sector are indeed the indisputable leaders in the Italian economy that, similarly to the more advanced economic systems, shows a contraction of industrial activities in favour of more complex, medium-sized organisations.
The vocation and role of entrepreneurs remain strong. The indicator used to measure this situation is represented by the percentage of self-employed workers present in enterprises and its value was over 30 percent in Italy. As to business demography, characterised by the degree of dynamism of the Italian economy and the endurance of new initiatives on the related market, the gross turnover rate increased for the third year in a row, while the five year-survival rate showed a reverse trend after a growth in 2012.
After a recovery in the two-year period 2010-2011, Italian enterprise levels of wage-adjusted labour productivity have kept on decreasing, with the lowest values recorded in the construction sector.