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Questo articolo è stato pubblicato il 01 febbraio 2012 alle ore 11:48.


There will be something wrong with the Italian labor market until the day when being born in one township or another will mark the employment destiny of hundreds of thousands of young people; all this will indicate that the labor market was not able to replace the unavoidability of destiny or to govern the whims of chance.

And it will also indicate that there is something wrong with the safety nets, safeguards, guarantees and incentives that so far, in the midst of all the ideological commotion, created an Italy with two faces that are ever farther from one another: in the North with relatively few unemployed and, in any case, within the physiological threshold; in the South where young people unemployed and without a future are 50%, even 60% in some areas. This double Italy is then split between men and women: while 67.1% of men work just 46.8% of women do. Adding the two imbalances one has women sentenced to a life without employment hopes because they are born in the South.
Article 18, for these people, is a distance eco of a specious debate and distant from reality. Social parties, also those that raised the most the taboo of dismissals, meeting today to fine tune a road map to present as collectively as possible to the Government tomorrow, know this all too well. The idea of finding a solution to mandatory reinstatements within reasonable amounts of time and not allowing the impossible amount of time needed by ordinary justice to go by can be a right step for negotiations. Also reasonable is the idea of a gradual contract to enter the labor market (with growing safeguards as worker seniority increases) that could be classified, in each case, as a fixed-term contract.

In this season of "Italy year zero" -- it is certainly what it feels like since the Government of technocrats lined up by priority, always known but never managed and faced during the past 20 years, economic policy -- the labor market presents itself like an emergency: there are three million young people who are not looking for a job and are not studying, the biggest waste in human capital, potential talent, vital energy in Europe; which nonetheless knows that unemployment is a clear social warning bell (the unemployment rate is at 10.4%, the highest since the creation of the euro) considering that yesterday Josè Manuel Barroso wrote a letter to the more affected Countries urging them to best exploit European resources.
The puzzle of the labor market is made up of pieces: flexibility in terms of rebalancing the way in and the way out because now it is lopsided on the way in; social shock absorbers, which are not yet universal and paid only by businesses and workers of manufacturing companies but managed, by proxy, for other sectors; professional training with the need to recreate also in Italy a fabric of schools for technical skills that never really took off.

The rest is up to the market: an efficient meeting place between demand and supply of jobs; it has to be as widespread as possible and it has to be up to the professionalism of public and private players. Work as such, however, comes from the development of ideas and enterprises. There is no other way and when other ways were followed the result was legions of assisted people with a salary but without a job; another waste of human and financial capital in a Country that certainly does not have abundant resources.
This is why the outcome of the European summit was important: increasing unemployment and the inactivity of young people starts being a concern to leaders of the Eurozone, and not just them. The movement of resources that still have to be spent can help create growth and employment opportunities; the shy German opening towards Eurobonds -- a powerful tool to increase investments, and through them employment at a Continental level -- hopefully will become more convinced in the future, as soon as possible. The fact remains that the rules on employment are useless if real employment opportunities are not created: for this reason we have to recover also an ambitious industrial policy: a digital agenda and the infrastructures that were recently refinanced go in this direction. More can still be done; being fully aware that to create jobs, employers are needed.

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