Labour Market Segmentation, Flexibility and Precariousness in the Italian North East
Official Italian statistics undervalue the presence of short-term labour contracts. A more careful account of short term labour contracts more than doubles the official figures ranking Italy among the countries with a large amount of temporary work. Temporary labour contracts represent half of the total yearly labour flows and doubled in recent years in France, Italy and Spain in an attempt to avoid labour market rigidities imposed by the employment national legislations. But temporary contracts have larger potential costs. Very little is known about temporary workers in Italy and it is therefore important to improve our understanding of their career opportunities and to asses the impact of this form labour market flexibility. A succession of temporary jobs can push workers towards more permanent forms of employment, so that worse conditions received during the temporary contract period are compensated for by better conditions in the future. But people working for short spells can be also considered as an extreme case of outsiders, who receive low wages and have worse conditions compared to permanent workers, and this situation may last for their entire working life. In the nineties the divide between movers (non tenure workers) and stayers has increased and a considerable quota of the work force is deemed to never stabilize.
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