For the coming year, the economic forecasts are not particularly rosy; compared to 2022, the growth of GDP and household consumption is destined to drop to zero and this will contribute to increasing the number of unemployed, by at least 63,000 units. The total number of jobless, in fact, in 2023 will touch the quota of 2,118,000. In absolute terms, the most critical situations will occur in the Centre-South: a division which already today presents a very worrying level of employment fragility. Naples, Rome, Caserta, Latina, Frosinone, Bari, Messina, Catania and Syracuse will be the provinces that will record the greatest increases. To say it is the CGIA Research Office on the basis of an elaboration of Istat data and Prometeia forecasts.
Unemployment will rise to 8.4 percent
Although influenced by the return to work of layoffs and the stabilization of fixed-term contracts, the day before yesterday Istat reported that last October employment reached an all-time record. A great result which, however, could be reversed within a few months. In 2023, in fact, the unemployment rate is set to rise to 8.4 percent. A level, however, which once again aligns with the 2011 figure; year that anticipated the sovereign debt crisis of 2012-2013. According to the analysis, the Centre-South will be the geographical division most “affected”: the incidence of the sum of the new unemployed in Sicily (+12,735), Lazio (+12,665) and Campania (+11,054) will be equal to 58 per cent of the national total.
Naples, Rome and Caserta are the most affected provinces
At a territorial level, the 10 provinces most affected by the increase in unemployment will be Naples (+5,327 units), Rome (+5,299), Caserta (+3,687), Latina (+3,160), Frosinone (+2,805), Bari (+2,554) , Messina (+2,346), Catania (+2,266), Syracuse (+2,045) and Turin (+1,993). Few territorial realities that, however, will see the number of jobless decrease. We note, in particular, Perugia (-741), Lucca (-864) and Milan (-1,098).
The sectors most in difficulty
Although it is by no means easy to establish at the moment the sectors which in 2023 will be most affected by job cuts, it nevertheless seems to understand that the manufacturing sectors, especially the energy-intensive ones and more linked to domestic demand, could suffer employment repercussions, while companies more active in global markets including those operating in engineering, machinery, food and beverage and high fashion will be less exposed. Not only that, according to the sentiment of many experts and as many entrepreneurs, other difficulties will affect transport, the automotive and construction industry, the latter penalized by the legislative change relating to the superbonus, could record the most significant job losses.
Concern about self-employment
According to the latest data presented last Thursday by Istat, from February 2020 (pre-Covid month) until October 2022 (latest data available), self-employed workers (also including members of cooperatives, family collaborators, etc.) fell by 205,000 units, while employees increased by 377,000. Of course, among the latter, we record, in particular, the increase in the number of employed with a fixed-term contract, however this comparison shows us that the pandemic and energy crises have mainly affected VAT numbers which, unlike workers subordinates, are certainly more fragile. We recall, in fact, that they have very few protections: compared to employees, for example, they do not have sick leave, holidays, leave, severance pay and thirteenth/fourteenth bonuses. In the event of momentary difficulty, they have neither layoffs nor, in the event of closure of the business, any form of NASPI. Furthermore, as Istat always points out, the risk of poverty in families where the main income is attributable to a self-employed person is higher than that of employees.
We risk jeopardizing social cohesion
According to the CGIA, the closure of many small businesses can also be seen with the naked eye; just walk around to notice that there are more and more shops and workshops with their shutters lowered 24 hours a day. The risk of jeopardizing the country’s social cohesion is very strong. The closures are affecting both the historic centers and the suburbs of our cities, throwing entire blocks into abandonment, causing a sense of emptiness and a dangerous deterioration in the quality of life for those who live in these realities. Less visible, but equally worrying, are the closures that have also affected freelance professionals, lawyers, accountants and consultants who carried out their activities in offices/studios located inside a condominium. In short, cities are changing their face: with fewer shops and offices they are less frequented, more insecure and with increasing levels of degradation. The business slump is affecting even those who have historically competed with neighborhood stores; i.e. shopping malls. Even large-scale retail trade (GDO) is in difficulty and there are many indoor commercial areas that have entire sections of the building closed to the public, because the previously present activities have definitively lowered the shutters.