The data collected are psychological and statistical at the same time. According to Istat, in Italy 35 million people, although being available for work, do not seek for an employment; 1,6 million of them do not do that because they feel discouraged. In the first trimester, in fact, employment increased as well as the number of potential labour force, that is the number of people who are formally inactive but who are ready to get out of inactivity. To be more specific, among them, the number of people who are available for work but not seeking is increased of 300,000 individuals. The peak is in the South of Italy, which counts more than 2 million “discouraged” people.
The economic crisis is therefore causing a general psychological depression. In 15-34 age group there are 1347000 who say to be available for work but who have not sought employment over the weeks preceding the survey. The availability, then, is merely virtual, without any propelling force.
This distrust is caused by several things: firstly, by the atavistic scourge of the recommendation – far from being extirpated in Italy – that frustrates any job search, unless you are part of a political network or you are lucky enough to have friends in high places; second, by the paralysis of the labour market, which makes it impossible to get out and then back soon to the production system; and then, by the downward trend in the markets, that makes you work more to make very little money.
The most serious thing is that this chronic alteration of the mood, characterized by sadness, loss of interest in any activity, and loneliness, is spreading over school too. When our boys and girls get closer to university, they do no longer make a choice of what to study, but where, with more and more young people going abroad – if they have enough money to do so. So, at the moment, the concerns – or even the pessimism – about the real possibility to find a job in our country are very evident.
To get past this tough situation a shock to the labour market is needed: companies that create job should be supported, preventing the usual scams, and effectively connecting the world of education with that of job. But we have been saying these things for years, and politics has acknowledged them only partially. “Jobs Act” and “Buona Scuola” are just a couple of aspirins. To put the sick back on his feet, much deeper and more shared operations are needed.
Translation provided by Maria Rosaria Mastropaolo