REFLECTIONS ON ITALY LABOR MARKET
Today we often hear about the 17 goals of the United Nations 2030 Agenda. The United Nations have come up with a serious of interventions to improve societal welfare. By 2030, we should have coped with the issues lurking in the societies from all around the world, from sustainability of the cities and climate action to fight against poverty and hunger.
As to goal 8, it promotes sustained, inclusive, and sustainable economic growth, full and productive employment and decent work for all. But there is still much to be done, especially in Italy, which is among the European countries with the highest emigration rate. According to a recent study, more than 5.8 million Italians work and live abroad today and one in ten young people has left Italy over the last ten years.
The phenomenon is called brain drain, started many years ago and has significantly increased in recent years because of the difficulty for young people to enter the labor market – it puts a spoke in the wheels, instead of opening doors. And that’s because the labor market has become increasingly demanding and competitive, requiring a good resume, hence studies, skills, and a lot of experience, forcing youths to undertake university studies after high school, since without any qualifications it is almost impossible to find a job.
In addition, degree programs have been made unnecessarily long and complicated, to the extent that students lose motivation along the never-ending studies and graduation appear to be a mirage. After graduation, they are looking forward to working, earning a salary, and seeing that efforts have paid off; however, their time has not yet come.The precarious employment conditions make it very tough to afford today’s cost of living, like high house rents, and leave home, that is what makes a person mature and independent. Therefore, making plans for future, such as starting a family and having children, has become even more difficult. In light of this, it is not surprising that young people leave Italy for a country that offers better prospects.
If on one hand Italy has a high emigration rate, on the other it does not look favorably immigration and has never been inclined to welcome immigrants that can instead counterbalance the heavy emigration rate. That’s because immigrants are an easy scapegoat for Italy precarious working system, being the weak ones, the different and the unknown that frightens, hence it is easier to hang the fault on them and assume they are responsible of Italy job crisis.
Does our country offer immigrants great opportunities to being lifted out of poverty? They are accused of stealing work from Italians, but is it true? Is our country providing job opportunities or is immigration a real contribution to the precarious Italian labor market?
Just think of foreign young workers in Italy: they do hard and underpaid works Italians no longer do and quite often find themselves living in difficult conditions as they used to when they lived in their countries. Immigrant workers without any rights or employment status are the tomato pickers who pick tomatoes for 3 or 5 euro an hour in Apulia in summertime. Exploited and underpaid, usually they live in the neighboring countryside in shanty towns. Almost every summer we hear on the news of labourers dying from sunstroke while working in the fields. The last case of death is that of a 27-years-old labourer from Mali, Camara Fantamadi, who died on the way home from sunstroke in 2021. He worked in a tomato field for 5 euro per hour in Tuturano, Brindisi.
Other immigrant underpaid workers are the riders for companies of food delivery like Deliveroo, Glovo, Uber Eats and Just Eat. They work in the main and biggest Italian cities moving for the entire shift from one side of the city to the other in all weathers. They earn from 500 to 1000 euro per month which is a very low salary, especially in expensive cities like Milan.
There could be plenty other examples like these. Finding job opportunities is difficult for young Italians despite good qualifications, let alone young foreigners.
In conclusion, it is said that future is in young people’s hands, but it is becoming increasingly unreachable, for both Italian and foreign youths.
for Dare Clan