The aim of the paper is to provide a reconstruction of the recent history of the Italian labour market from the standpoint of the levels and characteristics of employment. The description of facts – data, rules, institutions – is the basis of the reconstruction, upon which a number of interpretative hypotheses will be developed. The characteristics of employment over the years point to a remarkable blend of rigidity and flexibility in labour utilization. The centrality of the issue of flexibility leads us to devote particular attention to the setting of the rules most directly related to employment at the start of the 1970s and their evolution over more than three decades. The paper underscores the weaknesses of this evolution and the effects of the essentially conflictual vision of the employment relationship that continues to underpin the rules of the labour market. The constraints that the rules have imposed on the employment decisions of firms over the years have affected the level, characteristics and composition of employment. Apart from these constraints, the overall picture of employment indicates that the poor performances recorded have additional causes other than the rigidities of the labour market, which interact with the complex problem of growth of the Italian economy.
Potestio, M.P. (2005). L’occupazione in Italia dal 1970 al 2003. RIVISTA DI POLITICA ECONOMICA, XCV(III-IV), 245-322.