Analysis of Women’s Employment Trends in Italy, 2023

Analysis of Women's Employment Trends in Italy - 2023
Analysis of Women’s Employment Trends in Italy, 2023

The Fondazione Studi dei Consulenti del Lavoro released a report analyzing women’s employment trends in Italy in 2023, showing encouraging data despite demographic and regional disparities.

Based on the Istat report from January 2024, significant progress in female employment has been noted, reaching a record 10.095 million employed women. This results in a 53% employment rate and an 8.2% unemployment rate, highlighting a positive post-pandemic trend with substantial growth, particularly in the past year.

The labor market recovery post-pandemic also included female employment, though it showed slower recovery compared to male employment. In 2023, female employment increased by 2.4% compared to a 1.7% increase for men, indicating a positive dynamic allowing women to regain ground lost during the pandemic.

Compared to pre-pandemic levels in 2019, female employment increased by 1.6%, slightly lower than the 1.8% increase for men. Growth was notably higher among older age groups, with women aged 55-64 experiencing a 15.1% increase, attributed to rising retirement ages and an aging workforce.

Younger age groups also showed positive trends. Employment for women aged 25-34 increased by 2.4%, while those under 25 saw a 6.6% growth. However, the central age group (35-44) experienced a significant decline (-7.9%) due to demographic changes reducing the female population in these age brackets.

The services sector remains the primary employer for women, with 8.3 million out of nearly 10 million employed. However, the industrial sector (+8.1%) and construction sector (+34.7% from 2019 to 2023) saw the most significant growth. In services, information and communication (+19.4%), healthcare and education (+4.4%), and tourism (+9.7%) led the recovery.

Contractually, there was a significant increase in permanent contracts (+2.3%) and in skilled and technical professions (+1.5%), especially among managers, executives, and entrepreneurs (+22.9%). Employee work also saw a 4.6% increase, while unskilled employment declined by 4.8%.

Regionally, Southern Italy experienced higher employment growth than the national average (+2.5% from 2019 to 2023), although female employment levels remain significantly lower than in the rest of the country. The employment rate in the South increased from 33.2% to 35.7%, still below the national average and the North-East, where 63.7% of working-age women are employed.

 

Conclusion

The progress in female employment in Italy throughout 2023 reflects a significant positive trend, especially in the post-pandemic period. The increase in employment rates and the diversification of sectors and contracts indicate a robust recovery and growth. However, challenges remain, particularly in demographic shifts and regional disparities. Efforts must continue to address these issues and promote inclusive growth. By fostering an environment that supports women’s participation across all sectors and regions, Italy can build on this progress to achieve even greater economic and social benefits in the future.

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