Employment in the average of 2022 grew by 545 thousand units on 2021. This was noted by Istat which released data on the labor market in the last quarter of 2022, underlining that the employment rate rose to 60.1% (+1.9 points). In the fourth quarter of 2022, employees grew by 120 thousand units on the third quarter and by 353 thousand in a year, reaching 23 million 250 thousand with an employment rate of 60.6%. The employment rate (15-64 years) rose to 60.1% (+1.9 percentage points in one year), the unemployment rate fell by 1.4 percentage points and the inactivity rate (15-64 years) by 1.1 percentage points. The trend in labour input in companies confirms the growth: employee positions increase - by 4.7% -, the total number of hours worked increases - by 12% - and recourse to the CIG decreases (-85.3 hours per thousand worked).

In the fourth quarter of 2022, Istat reports, labor input, measured by hours worked, increased by 0.7% compared to the previous quarter, and by 3.1% compared to the fourth quarter of 2021. In the same period, GDP recorded a slight decline (-0.1%) in cyclical terms, while it increased by 1.4% in trend terms.

Employment growth concerned both employees - fixed-term (+147 thousand, +5.1%) and permanent (+346 thousand, +2.4%) - and, to a lesser extent, the self-employed (+52 thousand, +1.1%) and substantially involved full-time work (+536 thousand), the number of part-time employees remaining almost stable (+9 thousand).

At territorial level, the employment rate increased more in the Centre (+2.3 points) than in the North (+1.7 points) and the South (+1.8 points), while the unemployment rate decreased more in the southern regions (-2.1 points) compared to the Centre and the North (-1.7 and -0.9 points, respectively); The decline in the inactivity rate is similar by territory. In all the breakdowns, the employment rate exceeded the values of 2019: +0.2 points in the North, +1.2 points in the Centre and +1.8 points in the South, decreasing the high territorial gaps that remain very substantial. The employment rate in the North (68.1%) is 21.5 points higher than in the South (46.7%) and the unemployment rate in the southern regions (14.3%) is almost three times that of the North (5.1%).

Among young people aged 15-34, both the increase in the employment rate (+2.8 points compared to 2021) and the decrease in unemployment rate (-3.4 points) are more marked. The first increases, with less intensity, also for 35-49 year olds (+1.8 points) and for 50-64 year olds (+1.5 points), which also recorded a decrease in unemployment (-0.9 and -0.7 points, respectively). The inactivity rate decreases in almost the same way for all age groups (-1.2 points for 15-34 year olds and 35-49 year olds, and -1.1 points for 50-64 year olds). Compared to 2019, young people, who were most affected by both the negative dynamics of 2020 and the positive economic cycle of the last two years, showed a more sustained increase in the employment rate (+2.0 points compared to +1.4 points for 35-49 year olds and +0.7 points for 50-64 year olds) and a more intense decline than that of unemployment (respectively -3.8 points, -1.6 points and -0.6 points). In 2022, foreigners show a growth in the employment rate (+2.8 points) higher than that of Italians (+1.8 points) and at the same time a greater reduction in the unemployment rate (-2.4 and -1.3 points respectively); On the other hand, the decline in the inactivity rate for 15-64 year olds is similar (-1.2 points and -1.0 points). For foreigners, the employment rate is still lower than in 2019 (-0.5 points), while for Italians the value is 1.3 points higher.

In the average of 2022, the unemployment rate fell to 8.1% (-1.4 percentage points) while people looking for work on average for the year decreased by 339 thousand units to 2 million 27 thousand. In the fourth quarter, the unemployment rate fell to 7.8% (-0.1 points in three months) and the inactivity rate to 34.2% (-0.3 points). The unemployed fall below two million to 1 million 971 thousand units.

Wage increase

The increase in wages remains well below that of prices in the fourth quarter, resulting in the loss of purchasing power of employees' payrolls. This is what emerges from the Istat tables on gross wages in fact in the fourth quarter of 2022, according to which they increased by 0.4% on the previous quarter and by 1% on a trend basis. "Labour costs increased in trend terms by 1.1% - we read -, and the growth of the wage component (+1%) is slightly lower than that of social security contributions (+1.4%); the latter, following a containment of the contribution benefits put in place to promote the recovery of production, are gradually returning to pre-Covid levels". Gross wages and salaries are the sum of the continuous component and the occasional or occasional component of wages (additional monthly payments, redundancy incentives, arrears, bonuses, bonuses and others).