Work, CGIL: “6.9 million fewer workers in 20 years, more migrants are needed”

Report of the Di Vittorio Foundation: “Increase by 150 thousand more per year to reduce the expected decline”

In 2043, the working-age population aged 15 to 64 will be 6.9 million fewer. To at least partially mitigate the decline in the total population and reduce the projected decline in the working-age population, it would be necessary to increase the current migratory balance by at least +150,000 people a year. This would have positive effects on the GDP, on the public budget, on the strengthening of the job offer in the face of “moderate changes in the composition of the population: in 20 years the current share of foreigners equals 8.6%, out of the total number of residents in Italy , would pass to about 11-13%.Numbers not dissimilar from those of other European partners: in Germany the share of foreigners is 14%, 17.1% in Austria, 11.7% in Spain, 9% in the United Kingdom United Kingdom, 8.2% in Sweden and 7.7% in France.

It is the Di Vittorio Foundation in a report entitled ‘Italy between demographic, employment and migration issues’, which thus enters the debate that is inflaming politics and the economy. A binomial, employment-immigration, which Prime Minister Meloni has already decisively rejected, wanting rather to untie the job knot by drawing on the reserve of women’s work. A reasoning that the CGIL report disassembles piece by piece. “Propaganda on the so-called invasion therefore does not hold up in the face of reality”, comments Fulvio Fammoni, president of the Di Vittorio Foundation.

Meanwhile, a general picture of the situation: on 1 January last, the resident population in Italy decreased further, reaching 58,850,717: a decrease of 179 thousand people compared to 2022 and of approximately -1.5 million compared to 2014. A decrease which already today it manifests evident repercussions also on the labor market where the over 50s now represent 39% of the employed. But the long-term recessionary demographic dynamics is confirmed by the same probabilistic forecasts elaborated by Istat up to 2070, we can still read in the CGIL Report which recalls that in twenty years, the estimates of the central statistical institute will point to 2043 ” a drastic reduction of the resident population of over 3 million compared to today, as a result of a decrease in the youngest (-903 thousand) and people of working age (-6.9 million) and an increase in the elderly (+4 ,8 million)”.

The starting point therefore, “is that the mechanism that fuels population growth has stopped: the natural balance is negative while the migratory balance is positive but wholly insufficient to compensate for the natural one”. And even the birth rate incentive policies show limits: the interventions for the increase in births (apart from the specific social and fiscal policy measures under study, say the economists of the CGIL, “will unfold their effects in the medium and long term, those born today will be twenty years old in 2043. Not to mention that a policy to support the birth rate can only “start from the premise that the policies to be encouraged are primarily in the hands of women, with their own choices and life plans”.

Therefore, even assuming a lowering of the average age of mothers at childbirth (32.35 years in 2021) and an increase in the total fertility rate (1.25 in 2021), it should be considered, they still observe in the CGIL, “that in every case, the female population of childbearing age (15-49 years) is expected to drop by almost 2 million between 2024 and 2043 (from 11 million 481 thousand to 9 million 518 thousand). Vittorio, estimate that the current Italian population of girls up to 9 years should increase its fertility rate by 2.05% compared to today. And this only to reconstitute a generation as broad as that of their parents. Therefore, concludes the CGIL report, “a strategy of this type could be strengthened on a demographic level if the population of childbearing age increases, but this can only happen with a greater contribution from immigration”.