Core Facts

  • Population:  60.6M
  • GDP:  USD 1.8 trillion
  • GDP per head:  USD 34,240
  • Workforce:  22M
  • Unemployment (2017):  11.7%
  • Average high skilled monthly wages (2017):  USD 2,635


Italy is a country of contrasts and its labour market is no different. From the highly developed industrial cities in the north of the country, home to large employers who are household names, to other areas of the economy where abuse of the system is rife, finding the right legislative balance for the Italian employment relationship has always been a challenge. It is no surprise that the nature of the employment relationship varies widely depending on sector, region and size of company, with collective agreements present for most employees.

New national reforms forced through in 2015 seek to improve the Italian economy through the introduction of more liberal rules on the hiring and dismissal of employees, with a view to reducing unemployment. The global business must understand both the pros and cons of the multitude of contractual options open to it when recruiting in Italy and must get to grips with Italian labour relations at both an individual and collective level.