• Fri. Mar 1st, 2024

The Paradox of Self-Employment in Italy: A Growing Population of Freelancers, but Struggling Artisans and Traders


Feb 11, 2024
As VAT numbers rise, the number of artisans declines

As of December 31st, there were 5,045,000 self-employed workers in Italy, showing a slight increase compared to four years ago. However, not all categories within the world of self-employment are in good health. Many professions are in difficulty, with the number of ‘classic’ self-employed workers such as artisans, small traders, and farmers decreasing. At the same time, unregulated professions such as web designers, social media managers, and consultants are expanding.

The people with VAT numbers represent a social block of over 6 million people that produced almost 200 billion of GDP before Covid. The positive trend recorded by the stock of self-employed workers in the last three years can be attributed to the economic recovery following the Covid pandemic. Employment increased and consequently so did independent employment. Additionally, the introduction of the flat-rate regime for self-employed businesses with revenues and compensation of less than 85 thousand euros has made managing one’s own business fiscally less burdensome. Despite this growth, there is a concern about the increase in ‘false’ VAT numbers related to smart smoking in recent years.

The regions that experienced the highest increases in self-employed workers were Molise, Liguria, Calabria and Emilia Romagna while Abruzzo suffered significant contractions between 2014 and 2022. The overall number of artisans traders and farmers fell despite an increase in other unregulated professions such as web designers social media managers and consultants

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