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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 2016 in Italy the employment rate for the population aged between 20 and 64 reached 61.6 percent (+1 percentage point compared to 2015) and summed up an extremely large gender imbalance. The employment rate of the aged 55-64 continued to grow, registering 2.1 points more than in 2015 and reached in 2016 the 50 percent target set out in the European Strategy for 2020.


The increase of the employment affected both employees with permanent and temporary contracts, the latter showing the same share of 14 percent registered in the previous year. At the same time, with less intensity, the share of part-time employees workers continued to grow.


The size of undeclared labour was quite large at national level (13.3 percent of people in employment in 2014), mainly in specific areas and production sectors.

The unemployment rate dropped by 0.2 points compared to 2015, at 11.7 percent. The decrease was more marked among the population aged between 15 and 24 (-2.6 points); the rate was still higher among women (39.6 percent compared to 36.5 percent of the male component). Less than six unemployed out of ten have looked for job for over one year, a decrease from 58.1  percent compared to the previous year.

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