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What is the situation of metalworkers in Italy. Report Fim Cisl

What is the situation of metalworkers in Italy. Report Fim Cisl

Employment in the metalworking sector is holding up despite the crisis; productivity improves by 15 points while the scenario on skills and the Mezzogiorno remains critical. What emerges from the Fim Cisl relationship with the Ref

There are now 2 million metalworkers in Italy and, as emerges from the "1st Dashboard of work in metalworking" the survey by Fim Cisl and the REF Research Center , the sector has better protection than those of the Italian economy in terms of levels wages.


A metalworker earns an average of over 40 thousand euros and wages, also thanks to the so-called separate agreements, have increased up to 2021 more than inflation. Compared to many other sectors, there is less use of precarious contracts and more concrete and sustained levels of protection, while gender pay gaps are lower.

Metalworking industrial production was driven by 241 billion in exports in 2021, higher than in 2019 which stopped at 224 billion. As for productivity, the report reads, it has grown by 15 percentage points in the last 10 years.


The last three years, the report highlights, have been characterized by a series of problems in the functioning of the global value chains which have caused delays in the procurement of semi-finished products and slowdowns in production in many industrial sectors. In this context, some companies are changing their procurement strategies, also driven by public policies in this direction.

As far as the functioning of supply chains is concerned, the issue has involved companies operating within global value chains to a greater extent. It is also possible, the study reports, that Italian companies have known how to react better to these difficulties by trying to replace foreign suppliers with local producers who may still be present within the industrial districts.

This change of strategy is naturally easier for smaller companies than for very large companies, which need volumes that require well-structured organizations. For further information on the topic, see the dedicated chapter of this report.

In particular, a phenomenon that has been witnessed in recent years is that of reshoring, which consists in resorting to national producers (back-shoring) or geographically closer (nearshoring) for previously delocalized supplies.

The data, obtained mainly from direct surveys of companies, show a dynamic in the phenomenon that is profoundly differentiated at the sectoral level, even in the engineering sector itself, which in general shows a fair propensity towards reshoring.


The automotive sector, it is known, has been penalized by various factors, both on the demand side and on the supply side. On the demand side, the study reports, the regulatory uncertainty regarding the possibility of restrictions on circulation for some engines discourages purchase (also because it makes it more difficult for existing cars to be placed on the second-hand market); the increase in the cost of use linked to fuel price increases has made things even worse.

On the supply side, however, the difficulties in the supply of semiconductors should be mentioned. In this context, it is no reason to be surprised that the automotive sector and related industries have gone through a phase of recession in most European countries. From this point of view, Italy has suffered less consequences, given that the automotive industry here weighs less than in Germany and France.

However, it is highlighted in the report on the world of metalworkers, the producers of related industries must not be forgotten, who also produce for German companies, mainly located in the Northern regions; these are sectors that see cyclical difficulties superimposed on the problems that in the next few years will derive from the transition to the electric car, and from the consequent disposal of some parts of the components.


Employment has suffered the years of the pandemic, war and energy costs, but has not suffered serious losses in comparison with other crises and in the past but has indeed recovered pre-covid levels and real wages have remained stable before the decline of 2022 due to the war and the energy shock and inflation.

The metalworking sectors are among those that benefited around the middle of the decade from the effects of the change in the tax regime, with the introduction of Industry 4.0 incentives; some of these sectors have, on the one hand, received more demand from companies in other sectors which have increased investments thanks to incentives, and on the other, have themselves been induced to invest more.


Finally, the "1st Dashboard of work in metalworking" by Fim Cisl and the REF Research Center focuses on the problems of the category, linked to training, exacerbated by the acceleration of technological innovation, and the shortage of professionalized manpower compared to the needs of businesses, as well as the weakening of the presence of metalworking in the south of the country.

This is a machine translation from Italian language of a post published on Start Magazine at the URL https://www.startmag.it/economia/qual-e-la-situazione-dei-metalmeccanici-in-italia-report-fim-cisl/ on Tue, 24 Jan 2023 11:34:39 +0000.