In the South there is a depopulation alarm: by 2080 there will be over 8 million fewer residents

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The strong push from construction

The contribution of buildings went 7 points above the average of the Centre-North (18.9 against 11.9), thanks to the expansive impact exerted by the Super bonus 110% . Conversely, the contribution of industry was limited in the South: 10 points compared to 24.5 in the Centre-North, also by virtue of the significant thinning of the production base suffered between 2007 and 2022: almost –30% of added value, against a decline of 5.2% in the central-northern regions. The European comparison, however, reveals the delay also accumulated by the industry of the Centre-North: in the same years the industrial added value of the EU-27 increased by almost 14%, that of Germany by over 16%.

The impact of inflation on family incomes and the contraction of real wages

The acceleration of inflation of 2022, the survey highlights, has especially eroded the purchasing power of the weakest sections of the population. They were hit families with greater intensity low income, mainly concentrated in the Southern regions. Inflation has eroded in 2022 2.9 points of the disposable income of southern families, more than double the figure for the Centre-North (–1.2 points). Compared to other European economies, in Italy the inflationary dynamic has had a significant impact on Italian real wages, which between the second quarter of 2021 and the second quarter of 2023 suffered a much more pronounced contraction than the EU-27 average (–10.4 % versus –5.9%), and even more intense in the South (–10.7%) due to the more sustained price dynamics. This dynamic is part of a medium-term trend in real gross wages per employee, which is also particularly unfavorable in the South: –12% real wages compared to 2008 (–3% in the Centre-North).

Almost four out of ten workers have a temporary job

Compared to pre-pandemic the recovery of employment it was more pronounced in the southern regions: +188 thousand in the South (+3.1%), +219 thousand in the Centre-North (+1.3%). On the subject of job precariousness, in the post-Covid recovery after the employment “rebound”, precariousness has worsened again. Since the second half of 2021, more stable employment has grown, but the vulnerability in Southern labor market remains on pathological levels. Almost four out of ten workers (22.9%) in the South have a fixed-term job, compared to 14% in the Centre-North. 23% of fixed-term workers in the South have been employed for at least five years (8.4% in the Centre-North). Between 2020 and 2022 the involuntary share of the total part-time contracts throughout the country fell, but the gap between the South and the Centre-North still remains very pronounced: 75.1% of part-time employment relationships in the South are involuntary compared to 49.4% of the rest of the country.

Social discomfort

The increase in employment is unable to alleviate social hardship in a context of widespread precariousness and low wages. Despite the growth in employment, in 2022 the absolute poverty has increased across the country. Poverty has reached unprecedented levels. In 2022, there are 2.5 million people living in families in absolute poverty in the South: +250,000 more than in 2020 (–170,000 in the Centre-North). The growth of poverty among the employed confirms that work, if precarious and poorly paid, does not guarantee leakage from social hardship. In the South, absolute poverty among families with an employed reference person rose by 1.7 percentage points between 2020 and 2022 (from 7.6 to 9.3%). An increase is observed among families of workers and similar workers: +3.3 percentage points. These increases are even higher than that observed for the total of families in conditions of absolute poverty.

The risks of differentiated autonomy

One step of the investigation is on reforms. Differentiated autonomy, observes Svimez, exposes the entire country to the risks of an unsustainable fragmentation of public policies called to define a national strategy for growth, social inclusion and the strengthening of the business system. Added to this framework of fragmentation are the risks of a freezing of the territorial gaps in per capita spending already present and of a weakening of national redistribution policies between individuals and territorial rebalancing. The delegated functions would absorb a large part of the regional Irpef: approximately 90% in the case of Veneto, shares between 70 and 80% for Lombardy and Emilia-Romagna. The effects would be significant in terms of contraction of the national budget, with the consequent reduction of the space for action of central public finance. The Irpef revenue retained by the three regions would be equal to approximately 30% of the national revenue.



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