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Labour market

An overview

The European Strategy includes among its targets the increase of the employment rate especially among women and people aged over 50. In 2017 in Italy the employment rate for the population aged between 20 and 64 reached 62.3% (+0.8 percentage point compared to 2016) and summed up an extremely large gender imbalance. The employment rate of the aged 55-64 continued to grow, registering 1.9 points more than in 2016 and reached in 2017 52.2%.


The increase of the employment affected both employees with permanent and especially temporary contracts, the latter showing an increase and reaching 15.4%. At the same time, the share of part-time employees workers remained substantially unchanged.


The size of undeclared labour was quite large at national level (13.5% of people in employment in 2015), mainly in specific areas and production sectors.

The unemployment rate dropped by 0.5 points compared to 2016, at 11.2%. The decrease was more marked among the population aged between 15 and 24 (-3.0 points); the rate was still higher among women (37.3% compared to 33.0% of the male component). Less than six unemployed out of ten have looked for job for over one year, a slight increase compared to the previous year.

The non-participation rate, i.e. those who are available for but not seeking work, slowed down  for the third year in a row.