• 4.8




Key drivers

Wage Pressure in High-Skill Occupations (2.3)

Wage growth in high-skilled occupations has outpaced wage growth in low-skilled occupations. As a result, the wage gap is at its highest level for five years.

Overall Wage Pressure (3.8)

Real wages are forecast to decline marginally this year, following five years of positive growth.

Labour Market Participation (3.7)

Italy’s participation rate is forecast to grow this year, having fallen last year. This will boost the pool of labour employers can recruit from.


Education Flexibility


Labour Market Participation


Labour Market Flexibility


Talent Mismatch


Overall Wage Pressure


Wage Pressure in High-Skill Industries


Wage Pressure in High-Skill Occupation


Carlos Soave

Managing Director, Hays Italy

View from the Ground

Overall, the Italian labour market has seen an improvement over the year, exceeding pre-crisis levels of employment. Many companies have invested heavily in innovation, which has seen an increase in the demand for professionals with digital skills. The wage gap between people in high-skill occupations and those in low-skill occupations stands at highest level in five years, as organisations are paying higher wages for the skills they need and are not readily available. Therefore, it is positive to see Italy’s participation rate has increased, following previously very low rates registered in previous years. Finally, Italy’s Talent Mismatch Indicator remains worryingly high at 8.5, further evidence that employers are facing serious difficulties when searching for highly skilled professionals, especially in technical sectors.

Carlos Soave, Managing Director, Hays Italy

Key Skills in Demand

  • Heads of Digital
  • Sales Managers
  • Project Managers
  • Engineering Managers
  • Analysts/Developers

Market Insight

In 2018, Italian GDP rose by 0.7%, below its rate of 1.9% in the previous year. The slowdown in growth reflected a smaller increase in the rate of consumer spending.

Labour market conditions have generally improved. The number of people employed increased by 0.2% in 2018 to stand at record levels of 23.2 million. In 2018, the participation rate also increased to record levels, reflecting a decline in the population of working age, and falls in the numbers out of the labour force. It now stands at 65.6%. Although there is still considerable scope for the participation rate for females to increase from its current rate at 56.2%, compared to 75.1% for males.

The size of the population of working age reached a peak in 2015. However, it has declined slightly in each of the following three years.