Without effective policies, youth employment remains below the 2007 level

In November 2023, employment increased by 520 thousand units compared to the previous year, almost all of whom are over 50 years old. The number of additional employees does not necessarily mean that these are new jobs. A large part, also due to age in this case, can be due to missed exits or delayed exits that allow the number of employed people to grow.

Missed or delayed retirements were made possible by the pension reform, which increased the retirement age. Meloni’s government is therefore reaping the benefits of the pension reform. Istat data of reconstructed flows will be able to provide a more accurate estimate of the phenomenon.


Over the past 16 years, the employment trend of 50-64-year-olds and 25-34-year-olds has been very different. One could talk about an unstoppable increase in the percentage of employed people between 50-64 years old, which went from 46.2% in November 2007 to 64.1% in 2023, and an obstacle course for young people 25-34 years old.

70.7% of them were employed in November 2007 and after various vicissitudes they reached 68.4% in 2023, 2.3 points lower. The former have been growing relentlessly throughout the period with only one break in 2020, recovering in November 2021. The latter have not yet reached the employment rate of November 2007 in 16 years. First, the percentage of unemployed people aged 25–34 has been falling significantly year on year, from 70.7% in November 2007 to 59% in November 2013, then rising to 63.4% in 2019, falling again to 59 with the pandemic .7% and growing. again up to 68.4% in November 2023. With ups and downs deeply marked by three crises that followed each other in recent years.

These two very different trends had some implications for employment growth.

Between November 2019 and November 2020, as a result of the COVID epidemic, employment fell by 841 thousand units. The over-50s were the least affected by this decline, mainly because they are the part of the population with less precarious contracts. In the following year, there was a recovery, the number of employees increased by 638 thousand units and then by 328 thousand up to 520 thousand, and the contribution to growth among those over fifty was more significant. While she thinned out the young people.


You say, so what? What is important is that employment is growing. The increase is certainly a positive fact, but it is a trend that is more the result of pension reform than of development and employment policies. It is important to realize this.

Therefore, we have an employment base that is increasingly expanding to the older component and is even trying to return to the 2007 employment level for the youth component. There is no effective measure in the budget to support the employment of young people. We are also last in Europe in the employment rate of women and young people. And all this, among other things, in the presence of 4 million 733 thousand workers with at least one vulnerability, fixed-term, involuntary part-time or both, according to Istat data for the third quarter of 2023. This is 20% of the employed, with the highest percentage among women, by young people and in the south.

Be careful, because without effective and bold policies that focus on young people, women and the South, our country risks floundering, losing the vitality and creativity that have always characterized it in the world. Economic difficulties may increase in the presence of employment growth. Even if employment will increase by 520 thousand units per year.

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