Work, Confcooperative: lack of manpower, costs the country 28 billion in 2023, 1.5% of lost GDP

There is no lack of work in Italy, there is a lack of workers. A mismatch with 316 thousand vacant positions which presents a truly high and rapidly growing bill for the country in 2023: 28 billion euros, 1.5% of lost Pi
L against 1.2% in 2022 when 235 thousand were ‘missing’. In fact, if companies had managed to find all the professional figures they would have needed, growth in 2023 could have reached 1,810 billion euros. It is he who delivers the photograph of a market as it is and how it could have been study by Censis and Confcooperativeentitled ‘Work, the twisted market’ which estimates the economic effects of the lack of workers on the basis of the rate of vacancies in industry and services. To denounce the wider imbalance, according to the data for the second quarter of 2023, above all the accommodation and catering services activities which, compared to an average value of 2.3% for the total of industry and services, reaches 3.7%; just below the construction sector with 3.1% and the information and communication activities (2.9%), while the situation appears less critical in manufacturing (2%), in the energy sector (1.2%) and in transport (1.4%).

But the labor market is not only suffering from the misalignment between supply and demand: it is also a market that is growing (total employed people aged at least 15 have increased in the last decade by almost 800 thousand units, with an increase compared to 2012). 3.6%) but which is, also, inevitably getting older. In 10 years, from 2012 to 2022, the over 50s have grown by almost 3 million, going from 6.3 million in 2012 to 9 million in 2022: an increase of 42.4%, so much so that today the 50 age group represents a share equal to 39% of total employment (it was 28.4% in 2012). Not to mention the
over 65: in 2022, the Confcooperative Report further notes, 687 thousand individuals aged 65 or over were still employed while between 2012 and 2022 the older component actually grew by 72.2%.

A situation that effectively freezes youth employment: between 2012 and 2022, employed 15-34 year olds will reduce, in absolute terms, by 361 thousand units; in relative terms the change is -6.5%. In fact, the share of young people among the employed goes from 25.1% in 2012 to 22.6%. “If we return to the season of “zero growth”, all the contradictions covered by the recovery of recent years will come to light”, he denounces Maurizio Gardini, president of Confcooperative. “The lack of workers, the poor dynamics of generational turnover, the risk of a downward spiral in growth, productivity and the capacity for innovation, appear more inevitable than ever. Elements of an objective mismatch which, today more than in the past, characterizes the Italian labor market, from which a highly complex picture emerges”, he concludes.

But the study dispels another cliché: in Italy there is no phenomenon linked to large resignations. No “great resignation” or even “quiet quitting”: in our country, in fact, the choice to resign is nothing more than the manifestation of an “internal mobility” of the labor market driven essentially not by the search for greater earnings but by dissatisfaction And the desire to find a position that recognizes the worker’s skills. “In 2022, the number of employees who resigned was 1,047,000, of which approximately 700 thousand were relocated within 3 months, equal to 66.9% of the total voluntary resignations”, we read.

A decidedly upward trend compared to the pre-Covid era, when in 2019 voluntary resignations affected just over 810,000 workers, but within three months 63.2% were relocated, almost 4% less than in 2022. The relocation rate therefore tends to grow, in line with the increase in employment recorded in the last two years. But the motivations change. “In 2012, 51.2% of those employed on permanent contracts declared that they wanted to change jobs to earn more. In 2022 this percentage, while remaining the highest among the reasons, stands at a much lower level: 36, 2%”. Among the reasons that lead to changing jobs there is today, in fact, the search for a more qualifying job for their skills/skills and with greater career prospects, 36.1%.

But where they relocate workers who resign? Generally they find new space within the same sector of origin, even if the degree of continuity, within three months, varies from sector to sector. In fact, if 73.1% of metalworkers find a new job in the same sector, like 73.1% of workers in construction, 78.5% of those in transport and communications and 79% in the tertiary sector, the percentage drops 52% in catering and 61% in commerce (61.7%).