The grip of Covid is felt on work and employment: the number of employed people in Italy dropped by 444,000 in 2020. Istat reports, according to which the unemployment rate rose to 9.0% (+0.2 points) in December. Among young people, the rate increased to 29.7% (+0.3 points).
From February 2020 to today, in particular, that is, since the economic crisis due to the coronavirus pandemic began and despite thel blocking of layoffs imposed by the government since mid-March and the Covid layoffs (Cig Covid) extended to most of the productive categories, the lost workers are 426 thousand. The biggest payers are women, young people, the under 50s, the self-employed and workers employed on fixed-term contracts.
The decline in December: 101,000 fewer workers, 99,000 are women
Nor does the economic data on workers help: in December the number of employees decreased by 101,000 units, interrupting the positive trend that between July and November had led to a recovery of 220,000 employees. In particular, women are the most affected: of the 101,000 fewer workers registered at the end of 2020, 99 thousand are women.
The youth unemployment rate returned to close to 30%, we are at 29.7%, in the last places in the Euro area. The decrease in employment (in December 2020 -0.4% compared to November) involves women, both employees and self-employed workers and characterizes all age groups, with the sole exception of those over 50 who show a slight growth; the male component was substantially stable.
The decline in employment: in one year it falls by almost 1%
Overall, the employment rate drops to 58.0% (-0.2 percentage points compared to November) from 58.9% in December 2019. Istat reports that at an annual level, the repeated downturns recorded between March and June 2020, combined with that of December, led to a reduction of 1.9% over the 12 months. The decrease involves men and women, employees (235,000) and self-employed (20,000) and all age groups, with the exception of those over 50, an increase of 197,000, mainly due to the demographic component. In December, employment returns to decline – writes Istat in its comment -, interrupting the positive trend that between July and November had led to a recovery of 220,000 employees; the decline in employment concentrated on women and involves both employees and the self-employed. Reversal of trend also for unemployment which, after four months of progressive decline, returns to growth bringing the rate to 9%. The levels of employment and unemployment are lower than those of February 2020 – respectively by over 420 thousand and almost 150 thousand units – and inactivity is higher by over 400 thousand units.
Inactive increase: + 3.6%
Over the twelve months, jobseekers decreased (-8.9%, equal to -222,000 units), while inactive people aged between 15 and 64 increased (+ 3.6%, equal to +482,000) . In December, the decline in employment hit the self-employed in full. The decrease of 79,000 units. Employees drop by 23,000 units: -16,000 permanent ones and -7,000 term workers.
Over the course of 2020, independents drop by 209,000 units out of 444,000 fewer total. For employees, the decrease is equal to 235,000 units, but only temporary workers are paying the bill, who fall by 393,000 units, compared to an increase of 158,000 units in permanent ones thanks to the blocking of layoffs. The younger group of workers (15-24 years), often engaged in more precarious jobs, loses 145,000 units (13%) and falls below one million compared to December 2019 while those between 25 and 34 years lose 181,000 units.
The 35 to 49 age bracket loses 315,000 units and reaches 9,069,000 units, a level very close to that of the over 50s.