The great crisis in the South: more pensioners than workers

The proportion of pensions paid to employees is one to one, but in the South it has exceeded this and there are more pensioners than workers. This is what the CGIA highlights, according to which in Italy pensions paid to citizens are 22,772,000 and employees are 23,099,000, while in the regions of the South and the Islands pensions amount to 7,209,000, while employees are 6,115,000. At provincial level in 2022, the most virtuous territorial reality in Italy was Milan (balance given by the difference between the number of pensions and employed people equal to +342 thousand). This was followed by Rome (+326 thousand), Brescia (+107 thousand), Bergamo (+90 thousand), Bolzano (+87 thousand), Verona (+86 thousand) and Florence (+77 thousand). However, the results of the southern provinces were poor. Among all, only Cagliari (+10 thousand) and Ragusa (+9 thousand) have a positive balance. The most unbalanced situations, however, concern Palermo (-74 thousand), Reggio Calabria (-85 thousand), Messina (-87 thousand), Naples (-92 thousand) and Lecce (-97 thousand). These are worrying results – comments the CGIA Studies Office – which demonstrate «the effects caused in recent decades by three closely related phenomena: the decline in birth rates, the aging of the population and the presence of irregular workers. The combination of these factors is progressively reducing the number of active contributors and, consequently, increasing the number of social security beneficiaries.” According to the CGIA, there are no “miracle solutions” to rebalance the system and “even if the results were available we would not have them for 20-25 years”. However, with fewer and fewer young people and more and more pensioners, the trend can only be reversed in the medium and long term by expanding the employment base. As? Firstly, bring to light many of the “invisible” workers present in the country.”

The CGIA investigation office refers to those who carry out illegal activities which, according to Istat, amount to around 3 million people who go to the fields, factories and homes of Italians every day to carry out their work. «It is also necessary – continues the CGIA – to further encourage the entry of women into the job market, given that we are at the bottom of the list in Europe in terms of female employment rate (around 50 percent). Furthermore, we need to reinforce policies that encourage demographic growth (help for young mothers, families, minors, etc.) and that prolong people’s professional lives (at least those who carry out administrative or intellectual activities). Finally, it is necessary to increase the educational level of the workforce, which in Italy is still among the lowest in the entire EU.” “If we don’t do all this in a relatively short time – warns the CGIA research office – within a few decades healthcare and social security run the risk of imploding”.

According to the study, not long ago. «When reading the demographic/employment statistics, very worrying trends emerge. Between 2023 and 2027, for example, the Italian labor market will require just under three million workers to replace people set to retire. In short, in the next 5 years almost 12 percent of Italians will permanently leave their jobs because they have reached the age limit. With fewer and fewer young people expected to enter the job market, “replacing” a large portion of those who will retire will become a major problem for many entrepreneurs.” Furthermore, «with a very widespread presence of people over 65 years of age, some important economic sectors may suffer negative repercussions. With a much lower propensity to spend than that of the young population, a society made up predominantly of elderly people runs the risk of reducing turnover in the real estate, transport, fashion and hotel markets.”

Source: IL Tempo