Working paper

Future skill demand and supply of migrant labor in Italy


Francesco Panzica and Natalia Popova

The working paper considers the evolution of demand for migrant workers’ skills and qualifications in Italy, and projects future demand, in order to provide policy makers with evidence-based advice. Its methodology combines quantitative and qualitative analyses and makes a technical comparison of different forecasting methods and tools. 

Starting in the 1980s, Italy has been transforming into a destination and transit country for migrants from different parts of the world. Foreign workers residing in Italy represent 8.9 percent of the total population, one-third of them being from Member States of the European Union (EU). Currently, they account for 11.7 percent of the Italian labor force. 

Most migrants work in the services sector, followed by industry, construction, and agriculture. Women migrant workers are highly concentrated in the services sector, at about 40 percent of all such workers, compared with 7 percent of men migrant workers. Migrant workers have been hit particularly hard by the COVID-19 pandemic due to differences in the distribution of occupations between migrant and national workers, and the type of contracts they have.