Covid-19 weight on young shoulders: 1 young Italian in 3 is unemployed

Source: Pixabay

A recent report published by ISTAT (the Italian National Institute of Statistics) on 1st February, confirms the trend: unemployment in Italy is growing, and growing strongly.

444.000 people have lost their job this year, and most of them were women and young people. While in the EU, in December 2020 the unemployment rate for people under 25 was at 17.8%, in Italy it reached 29.7%.

Yet these alarming data are probably only the tip of the iceberg, because it does not include the young NEET (Not in Education, Employment or Training), of which Italy detains the EU record.  

Source: Eurostat

Alessandro Carlantoni in 2014 wrote a study about the financial programme Garanzia Giovani, that aimed to boast youth employment, but – according to him – it did not lead to the desired outcome. “True, more young people are employed, but then at the end of their apprenticeship they are often dismissed, to employ someone new and get the state financial support”, he explains. “This vicious circle created an “army” of unemployed 29-30 olds.”

Chiara Bosisio, 29 next week, is one of those. She has a bachelor and master’s degree in literature. She used to work with a project-based-contract in a small museum in Milan. But when the pandemic hit, museums were the first to shout down. For 2 months she received some unemployment subsides, and then nothing. Due to her temporary contract, she’s not eligible for unemployment.

“It’s exhausting. I’m checking all portals and sending lots of CV, but I am all alone in this”, she says.

“The representative of the employment centre was pretty clear: he told me that being added to the database is “just for show”, because there is no one to actively help you out”, she says.

The impoverishment of the younger generations has been a general trend in the last decades, that does not seem to reverse. According to the recent Censis report, 50.3% of young Italians are living in worse socio-economic conditions than their parents at the same age. “In Italy there is a lack of polices aimed to create new jobs and to connect young people in education to the job market”, Carlantoni says.  

“There is a fierce competition even on the least qualitied jobs. I was turned down for a job as sale assistant, because they considered me “too educated””,  says Chiara.

“It’s hard to think about the future because I am all focused on this research. Months, and years go by, and I feel sad because I know I would have a lot to give. I start to ask myself:  what’s wrong with me?”

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