Istat, in 2021 for 1.3 million workers a salary below 8 euros per hour

MILAN – By the end of 2021, at least 1.3 million private sector jobs, 6.6% of the total (share down 0.3 percentage points from 2020, unchanged from 2019), received a lower gross hourly wage to 7, 79 euros, i.e. lower than two-thirds of the median (low-paid jobs). This is highlighted by Istat in the report on employment, wages and labor costs of private employees in 2021.

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After the decline observed during the pandemic period, the number of jobs (with at least one paid hour paid by an employer per year) starts to grow again in 2021 (from 18.3 million in 2020 to 19.5 million in 2021). To a more limited extent, the number of workers is also increasing (14.9 million in 2020, 15.4 million in 2021) and consequently the average number of jobs per worker, which is increasing to 1.3 (3% more than in the previous year ). Compared to 2020, the median job entry is increasing, both in terms of hours worked (905 hours, +6.6%) and paid hours (1,058, +1.5%), but remains lower than the median value of 2019 (-2.1% or -2.6%).

In 2021, 10% of jobs have less than 48 hours worked and less than 71 paid hours; these values, corresponding to the first decile of both distributions, are lower than the 2020 values ​​of -14.4% (for hours worked) and -11.5% (for paid hours).

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At the same time, the value of the first decile of the distribution of the duration (in days) of a job position also decreased by more than 3%: in 2021, 10% of positions have a duration of less than 29 days. For all three variables, the value of the first decile for 2021 is higher than for 2019.

The annual gross salary per job position (which includes salaries for positions active only part of the year) also increases by a median of 3.6% compared to 2020 and reaches 12,139 euros. However, the value of the first decile decreases by -8.5% and 10% of the positions have an annual salary of a maximum of 784 euros (a value of more than 18% higher than in 2019). This dynamic is related to the changes of recent years, especially in terms of jobs with the lowest labor input: the weakest and most insecure left the labor market in 2020 due to the pandemic and gradually returned during 2021, it has not yet returned to the level of 2019.

Hourly wages (per hour paid) in 2021 show considerable stability at the median compared to 2020 and increases in both the first (0.6%) and ninth deciles (1.6%); the positive variation is generalized to the entire distribution when compared to the 2019 distribution.

In 2021, employer contributions will decrease (also thanks to decontribution measures to support businesses and workers to support post-pandemic recovery). The share of employer contributions to median hourly labor costs remains stable compared to 2020, but decreases by 1.3 percentage points for the first decile and 0.2 points for the ninth decile; compared to 2019, the drop is greater: -3.1 points for the value of the first decile, -0.4 points for the median and -2 points for the ninth decile.

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