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2017 Annual Report on the Labour Market Situation of Immigrants in Italy


The 7th edition of the Annual Report on the Labour Market Situation of Migrant Workers in Italy provides a detailed overview of the recent dynamics in the economical inclusion of migrants, both EU and non-EU nationals. In accordance with the an increase of the total number of people in employment by +1.2 % in 2016, the new data indicate a consolidation of the growth of migrant employment rates: +2.4% for EU and +1.4% for non-EU workers. The unemployment rate among the foreign population consequently continued to fall after the peak observed in 2013 (17.9%). It was 16% in 2016. However, looking at more qualitative aspects, the situation remains unchanged: the labour market situation of immigrants in Italy therefore remain largely characterised by over-qualification and segmentation.

In particular, migrant workers – and particularly non-EU nationals – remain concentrated in the lowest occupational positions: around 80 % are employed in "blue-collar" occupations. Though nearly 21% of workers in unskilled or low-skilled positions hold a degree. White-collar migrant profiles still have a limited presence among managerial roles: only 0.9% hold executive level or higher positions. Besides, there is an increasing presence of migrant workers in some specific sectors, such as agricultural (16.6% of the total workforce, approximately 3 times the incidence recorded ten years earlier), in the retail (from 3.7% in 2007 to 7.2% in 2016) and in services, largely personal and domestic activities (from 5.9% in 2007 to 10.7% in 2016). 

For the first time, the 2017 edition of the Report also provides important insights into more subjective aspects of the labour market experience of immigrants in Italy; on the basis of a newly introduced section on job satisfaction in the periodical labour force survey conducted by the Italian National Institute for Statistics. The results point to a significantly lower level of satisfaction among migrant workers compared to Italian workers. 41.3% of non-EU workers and 48.5% of EU workers declared a high level of satisfaction compared to 54.8% of Italian workers. The overall dissatisfaction are related to occupational mobility, remuneration, career development and professional qualifications: only 23.4 percent of non-EU nationals are "highly satisfied" about their salary, against 30.4% of Italians and 29.3% of EU citizens. Non-EU nationals indeed earn 25.2% than nationals.

Source: Minister of Labour and Social Policies