Italy - Labor Force Employment

Italy: Labor Force Employment

Mnemonic LBE.IITA
Unit Ths. #, SA
Adjustments Seasonally Adjusted
Quarterly 0.52 %
Data 2022 Q4 23,249
2022 Q3 23,129

Series Information

Source Italian National Institute of Statistics (ISTAT)
Release Labor Force Survey [Q, subnational]
Frequency Quarterly
Start Date 3/31/2004
End Date 12/31/2022

Italy: Labor

Reference Last Previous Units Frequency
Unemployment Rate Jan 2023 7.92 7.81 %, SA Monthly
Labor Force Employment 2022 Q4 23,249 23,129 Ths. #, SA Quarterly
Primary Industries Employment 2022 895 912.9 Ths. # Annual
Secondary Industries Employment 2022 6,028 5,846 Ths. # Annual
Total Employment 2022 Q4 23,249 23,129 Ths. #, SA Quarterly
Unemployment 2022 Q4 1,971 2,001 Ths. #, SA Quarterly
Wage & Salaries 2021 732,782 679,442 Mil. EUR Annual
Agriculture Employment 2017 996,718 993,689 # Annual
Tertiary Industries Employment 2017 17,760,676 17,907,124 # Annual

Release Information

For Italy, the survey on labor force resulting official estimates of employed and persons seeking employment and information on the main aggregates of the job - occupation, branch of economic activity, hours worked, type and duration of contracts, training.

Since its introduction in the early '50s, the survey plays a major role in the statistical documentation and analysis of the employment situation in Italy and it proves one essential knowledge tool for public policy makers, media, and citizens.


  • Framework: IESS
  • Data dimensions:
    • Industry classification: Ateco 2007, the adaptation of NACE Rev. 2
    • Sex: Both, male, female
    • Type of employment: Employees, self-employment
  • Measurements:
    • Thousands of persons (Ths. #)
    • Percentage (%)
  • Adjustment: Not applicable
  • Native frequency: Quarterly
  • Start date: As early as 1977Q1, but most series at 2018Q1
  • Geo coverage:
    • Country (IITA)
    • 5x NUTS 1 (IITA_aaaa)
    • 21x NUTS 2 (IITA_aa)
  • All concept-geo pairs exist: No


  • Pre-IESS - 1977Q1 to ("_20")
  • NACE Rev. 1 - as early as 1992Q4 to 2010Q4 ("N1")

The information is collected by Istat interviewing each quarter a sample of almost 77 thousand families, amounting to 175 thousand individuals resident in Italy, even if temporarily abroad.  Excluded are families living abroad and usually permanent members of cohabitation (religious institutions, barracks, etc..).  Series cover individuals aged 15 and greater, except for activity rates and employment to population ratios, which cover individuals aged 15 to 64.

The current survey sample is continuous because the information is collected every week of the year and no longer in a single week each quarter.  The results are disseminated on a quarterly basis, except for the detail that has provincial annually.

The collection is characterized by the definition of new criteria for the identification of employees and persons seeking employment and for the radical restructuring of the process of collecting and compiling the data.

To make the new estimates comparable figures for the past years, Istat has reconstructed the series back to the fourth quarter of 1992.


  • Employment rate/Employment to population ratio: A ratio between employment and the corresponding population.
  • Unemployment rate: A ratio between unemployment and the corresponding labor force.
  • Activity rate: A ratio between labor force and the corresponding population.

Changes in method

Over the years the survey has been renovated several times to reflect on the one hand, the ongoing transformation of the labor market, secondly, the growing knowledge requirements of users on the social and economic reality of our country.  The last change was initiated in early 2004 in line with European Union provisions.

Age brackets

For the "activity rate by age" subset, there are:

  • Five brackets by 10-year interval (15-24, ..., 55-64) which are additive within 15-64.
  • Four brackets for overlapping intervals (15-29, 15-24, 18-29, 35-64) which we have labeled in the catalog as "special brackets."

For the "activity rate by sex, nationality, education, age" subset, there is an inconsistency among reported age brackets. The "educational attainment" dimension omits the "15-24" bracket but adds a unique "15-29" bracket. As of August 2022, we have verified that this is correct.

  • Total: 15-24 and 18-29
  • By educational attainment: 15-29 and 18-29

Further reading

At the source, in Italian:

At the source, in English:

At IMF (SDDS Plus):