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 2014 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 nearly 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 did not increase in 2014 for the first time after three years and remained stable at 2013 value; at the same time, there was a new reduction of the five year-survival rate after the one experienced in 2013.
After the two-year period 2012-2013, the Italian enterprise levels of wage-adjusted labour productivity stopped to decrease. In 2014 Italian enterprises produced about 125 euros of added value per employee per every 100 euros of unit cost of labour (+1.9 percent compared to the previous year), with the lowest values still recorded in the construction sector.