Italy is among those Member States in which the manufacturing sector - associated with the production of niche and luxury products - still makes up a considerable share of its economy, particularly in the north and centre of the country. The economy is characterised by a marked north-south divide, with GDP per head being much higher in the northern regions. Employment dropped in almost all sectors during the economic crisis, notably in manufacturing and construction. However, employment in business and other services continued to grow. Unemployment in Italy is relatively high compared to other EU Member States.
Looking to the future, it is projected that most employment growth will be in business and other services over the period to 2025, and most job opportunities will be created for professionals. Overall employment is forecast to reach its pre-crisis 2008 level by 2020 and continue to increase thereafter.
Italy is forecast to experience an increase in demand for highly- and low-skilled workers, whilst demand for medium-skilled workers will decrease over the medium-term future. Meanwhile, by 2025, the share of Italy’s labour force with high- and medium level qualifications is projected to increase, whilst the share of workers with low or no qualifications will decrease in the same period.
Italy’s working-age population (15-64) is projected to grow in the period to 2025, with labour market participation declining and remaining at a level below the projected EU average. Looking to the longer-term future, Italy’s old-age dependency ratio is expected to remain steadily above the EU28 average.