MILANO – Signs of stabilization in the dynamics of the Italian labor market, but the wounds of the pandemic all emerge in the negative balance of employees recorded by Istat in February compared to what happened in the same month of 2020, before the Covid crisis broke out, and that nearly one million jobs have gone up in smoke. With the aggravating circumstance of the growth of over 700,000 inactive, that is, those who do not have employment or seek it.
In its recent survey of the employed and the unemployed, the Institute of Statistics notes that “in February, employment stabilizes again, interrupting the negative trend which, between September 2020 and January 2021, led to the loss of over 410,000 employees; after two months of strong increase, the number of unemployed decreases slightly “.
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In one year (February 2021 on the same month of 2020), however, “the decrease in employment – equal to 945 thousand units – concerned men, women, employees, self-employed and all age groups. At the same time, the unemployed (+21 thousand) and, above all, the inactive, increased by over 700 thousand units. Compared to February 2020, the employment rate is 2.2 percentage points lower and the unemployment rate is 0.5 points higher “.
Numbers commented by the confederal secretary of the CGIL, Tania Sacchetti: “The health emergency that has been going on for more than a year brings its toll on the employment front. The data released today by Istat, some of which dramatic, should also convince more skeptical of the need to extend the special measures of social safety nets and the blocking of layoffs if you do not want to take a path of no return for our country “.
The positive data therefore concern the trend in February compared to January, which captures the most recent trend. In the monthly variation, the employed are substantially stable while the unemployed and the inactive are slightly decreasing.
Employment is stable among women and men, growing among stable employees and those under 35, while it falls among temporary workers, the self-employed and people aged 35 or over. The employment rate is stable at 56.5%.
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Job seekers drop by 0.3% compared to January (-9 thousand) mainly among men and the under 50s, while there is a slight increase among women and people aged 50 or over. The unemployment rate falls to 10.2% with an improvement of 0.1 percentage points, while among young people it falls by 1.2 points to remain above 30%: precisely to 31.6 percent. Among the data that give hope is also the (slight) decrease in the number of inactive: -0.1% compared to January, or 10 thousand people reintegrated into the market. However, the inactivity rate is not affected, remaining stable at 37 per cent.
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Having said of these aspects that at least tell of a stop to the haemorrhage of work, Istat notes how the “repeated economic downturns in employment” that from the beginning of the health emergency have characterized the trend of the labor market until last January can still be clearly seen in the “drop in employment compared to February 2020 (-4.1% equal to -945 thousand units).
The decrease involves men and women, employees (590 thousand) and self-employed (355 thousand) and all age groups. The employment rate drops, in one year, by 2.2 percentage points. “Over the twelve months, the number of people looking for work (+ 0.9%, equal to + 21 thousand units), but above all the inactive between 15 and 64 years (+ 5.4%, equal to + 717 thousand).