Calabria is characterised by a weak industrial structure, which role is marginal. The region is strongly dependent on public budget, and the public-sector accounts for a relevant share of the regional employment (about 25% in 2017; the highest value among all the regions). The main areas of specialisation include: agro-food, chemistry and steel industry, textiles and wood. Crafts and tourism account for relevant sectors, however, the offered services are not very competitive.
In period from 2008 to 2017, the regional real GDP decreased by 0.03% due to a considerable decrease of GDP in 2009 (-2.2%). Compared to other regions, there were no cyclic dynamics in the economy‚ but the annual growth rate was negative throughout the period until 2014 (-0.5%), for the first time has been registered a growth by 2.45% in 2017 (Eurostat, 2019).
In 2017, the regional GDP amounted to €33,705m and contributed to the national GDP up to 1.95% (Eurostat, 2019).
GDP PPS per capita in Calabria is the lowest in Italy. In 2017, it amounted to €17,400, which is far below the Italian (€28,900) and European averages (€30,000) (Eurostat, 2019). Since 2009, the crisis has affected the regional economy. The production in trade and other services, manufacturing and construction has declined significantly. The fiscal consolidation measures taken at the national and the regional level have reduced the public resources available for the regional development, which has produced negative impacts on disadvantaged territories and affected social groups (e.g. women – Calabria has the highest Italian female unemployment rate, which in 2018 was up to 24.9%) (Eurostat, 2019).
In 2017, there were 159,194 active enterprises in the region. 60% of these operate in the services sector, 12% in construction and 8% in the industry and 20% in the agriculture.
This is not resulting in the economic dynamics, due to the low weight of exports. The construction industry has seen some signs of stabilisation, but the service performance continues to be weak.
In 2018, the employment rate is much lower (42.2%) compared to the national (58.5%) and the European averages (68.6%). Calabria turns out to be the region with the lowest level of employment rate in Italy.
Also, the unemployment rate increased considerably in recent years, from 12.9% in 2010 to 21.6% in 2018, which is far above the National (from 6.8% to 11.4%) and the European averages (from 8.4% to 10.6%) (Eurostat, 2019). In 2018, Calabria registered the highest level of unemployment (21.6%)