Sicily lags behind the national and European economy in terms of economic development. GDP PPS per capita was on average just €17,500 in 2016, among the second lowest in the country and corresponding to 62% of the national GDP PPS per capita (€28,200) and 60% of GDP average in the European Union (€29,200). Over the period 2007-2015, the growth rate of the GDP per capita was -4.4%, decreasing at a faster rate than the national average (+1%).
In 2015, the regional nominal GDP amounted to €86,998m, contributing to 5.2% of the national GDP (Eurostat, 2018).
In 2017, Sicily also has 21.5% unemployment rate, the second one highest in Italy (Eurostat, 2018). The unemployment grew by 60% over the period 2009-16.
In 2016, the regional economic system performance (gross added value) was essentially based on non-market services (28.42%), services provided by the public administration, followed by Financial intermediation, real estate and business (20.65%) and commerce (12.34%). Productive sectors such as construction (4.8%), industry (7.9%) and agriculture (3.8%), contribute marginally to the regional product. This is even more evident when compared with the national figures: the weight of industry on the national GDP in Italy is about 18%, more than two times that of Sicily.
Sicilian enterprises are also likely to suffer from competitiveness issues due to the presence of organised crime and very low levels and low quality of infrastructure, especially in the transport sector. Sicilian companies belonging to the most dynamic sectors (chemistry, ICT, pharmaceutics, biotechnology, electronics, professional, scientific and technical activities) are very concentrated in the largest cities of Palermo, Messina and Catania.
In 2017, there were 346,428 active enterprises, of which 59% in the service sector, 8% in the industry sector, 11% in the construction sector and 22% in agriculture (one of the highest concentration in Italy).