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XIII Report "Foreigners in the labor market in Italy"

Employment of migrant workers still growing. Critical issues include gender inequality and low qualifications.

In an overall positive picture for employment in Italy, the recovery of employment of migrant citizens is confirmed. This is according to data, updated to 2022, from the XIII Report Foreigners in the Labor Market in Italy, published today by the Ministry of Labor and Social Policy.

Foreign workers in Italy are 2.4 million, up 5.2 percent in one year, and account for 10.3 percent of the total employed. The employment rate is at 60.6 percent (among Italians it is 60.1 percent), unemployment at 12 percent (7.6 percent) and inactivity at 31.2 percent (34.8 percent), all indicators improving from 2021. Mandatory Communications sent by employers also confirm the positive trend: activations of contracts with foreign nationals grew by 12.4 percent in one year (+10.5 those with Italians), with a larger increase for non-EU foreigners (+14.9 percent) than for EU nationals (+5.8 percent).

The positive data is contrasted by the confirmation of critical issues in migrant labor, such as the strong gender disparity: migrant women have significantly worse rates of employment (47.5 percent), unemployment (15.2 percent) and inactivity (43.8 percent) than men. The Report also highlights the strong concentration of foreign workers in executive profiles (more than 75 percent of employees have blue-collar status), with consequently lower wages, and over-qualification: the share of foreign university graduates employed in a low or medium skill profession is 60.2 percent among non-EU nationals and 42.5 percent among EU nationals, compared to 19.3 percent estimated for Italians.

After a description of the population context, migration flows and a framing in the international perspective offered by the OECD, the Report illustrates the short-term trends in the employment status of foreigners and the dynamics of hirings and terminations in 2022. It also delves into the condition of employed and self-employed Non-EU workers, with an additional focus on entrepreneurship, and contains data on access to unemployment benefits, accidents at work, and social security and welfare.

Among the new features of this edition are a chapter dedicated to different dimensions of foreign workers' integration (such as placement time, perceived discrimination, alignment between jobs, educational qualifications, skills and knowledge of the Italian language) and one on the needs of foreign workers expressed by companies and the difficulties of finding them by sectors and professions. The XIII Report also investigates the participation of Ukrainian refugees in the labor market in Italy through activations and terminations involving Ukrainian citizens with protection permits.

The XIII Report "Foreigners in the Labor Market in Italy" 2023 is edited by the General Directorate of Immigration and Integration Policies of the MLPS, with the support of Anpal Servizi, in collaboration with the General Directorate of Active Policies, the General Directorate of Information Systems, Technological Innovation, Data Monitoring and Communication, INPS, lNAIL, Unioncamere and OECD. In addition to the full version and summary, a statistical dashboard with data on hires, terminations, employed and unemployed is available online.