Inadequate wages for six out of ten workers

More than six out of ten workers (64.3%) believe that their wages are not adequate for the cost of living. One in ten employees (10.4%) is underpaid. 19.8% are employed part time, while half of the employed (52%) work remotely. 65.9% require cybersecurity training. This is what the Censis-Ugl report reveals «Between new inequalities and changing work: what awaits the workers», presented at the headquarters of the research institute.

The study reveals some of the most obvious contradictions of work, from wages to protections, and what could await workers in the near future. The loosening of the subjective relationship with work has facilitated its devaluation. However, today it is possible to imagine a new season that overcomes growing inequalities, also experimenting with original ways of involving workers in the destiny of companies.

The labor market is increasingly difficult for young people, women, migrants and less qualified people. In the collective perception disparities have increased and work has become the epicenter of contradictions. On the one hand, the new opportunities linked to remote working and digital, on the other hand the precariousness that becomes a long-term structural condition. For 93.3% of the employed, more attention is needed for the conditions of workers, while for 64.9% of young people, work is only a means of obtaining income to spend on different activities.

For 64.3% of workers (68.8% between workers and executives) their salary is not adequate to the cost of living. After all, in 2010-2020 the gross wages of Italian workers fell by 8.3% real and worse than Italy were only Greece (-16.1% real) and Spain (-8.6% real).

Young people up to 29 earn 40% less than workers over 55, while women 37% less than males. Those with a fixed-term contract, 32% less than those with a permanent contract. Those who work in the South earn 28% less than those who live in the North-West. 10.4% of employees are underpaid, they can count on a monthly salary below the threshold values ​​of 953 euros for full time, 533 euros for part time.

Over the years there has been a boom in part time, which affects 19.8% of workers (it was 15.8% in 2010). 74.2% of men are in involuntary part time (it was 59.3% in 2010), 61.1% of women (46.1% in 2010). 52% of employees work remotely. In the web economy, with the growth of delivery among consumers, over 570 thousand people between 2020 and 2021 obtained income through platforms, for example by delivering goods at home.

Training is considered essential by workers to tackle growing inequalities: 67.8% of employed people fear new and wider inequalities due to the diversity of digital skills. Furthermore, 84% of workers want support on specific aspects of their work, from skills to the technologies used. Finally, 65.9% require cybersecurity training.

The president of Censis, Giuseppe De Rita, argues that there is “too much generic opinion on work and its future and instead an adequate reflection requires the seriousness and rigor of research like this. Work is changing rapidly, between smart working and new delivery methods, but only in the medium-long term will we understand what will remain, because it works and is really appreciated by workers and companies. Technologies, relationships, subjective expectations are designing the work of the future, impositions from above, by edict, are irrelevant or, worse, harmful ».

According to Paolo Capone, UGL secretary general, “the world of work has changed a lot in recent years, often exacerbating inequalities and critical issues, even at a social level. Up to now, politics have received little incisive and far-sighted responses, penalized also by a two-year crisis and continuous emergency due to the pandemic, which has accentuated the precariousness and polarization of the labor market. These issues emerge clearly from the report, with which we wanted to underline not only the transformations underway, but above all the conditions of workers, in many cases underpaid, in need of more professional training, with little protection. Therefore, the course must be reversed as soon as possible. Work must return to carrying out its role of personal and social fulfillment and, above all, in moments of crisis supported with a decent welfare ».

Source: RSS Economia by

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