Hiring in the Bel Paese: Despite Slow Economy, Tech Jobs Thriving in Italy

Renowned as one of the world’s most culturally and economically advanced countries, Italy stands as the 4th largest economy in Europe today. However, its economy has stumbled recently. And that means the jobs picture facing Italians is uncertain — making it more important than ever for job candidates in Italy to be informed about pay, culture and benefits in today’s marketplace.

Although the economy of Italy is about three quarters the size of nearby France, there are only about 1/10th as many open jobs on Glassdoor in Italy as compared to France. Although Italy’s robust industrial sector in the north remains strong, the  overall economy actually shrank over the past year, in part due to rising political uncertainty scaring away business investment. 

Who is hiring today in Italy on Glassdoor? What are the most in-demand jobs, and what are they paying? In this analysis, we use a large sample of open online jobs on Glassdoor to highlight the state of hiring in Italy today, showing which cities and jobs offer bright spots for job seekers despite the country’s overall lackluster economy in 2019.

Jobs Picture in Italy in 2019

As one of the fastest-growing  job sites in the world, data from Glassdoor offers a unique real-time view of the state of hiring in Italy. As of August 1, there were 58,361 unique online job postings in Italy on Glassdoor. Despite a slow Italian economy in 2019, open jobs are up 16.6 percent from one year ago. As shown in the figure below, hiring for jobs in Italy has maintained a steady upward trend on Glassdoor since 2016. (In the figure, the number of open jobs is indexed to January 2016 = 100). Note: Based on 4-week moving average of unique job postings counted each Friday on Glassdoor. Omits some recently added job sources to preserve time-series continuity of job counts. 

Source: Glassdoor Economic Research (glassdoor.com/research)

Where Are the Jobs?

Hiring is much stronger in some Italian cities than others. The figure below shows the top Italian cities in terms of open jobs on Glassdoor, along with average base pay (in Euros) for open jobs in each city. Among the top 10 hiring cities, nine are in northern Italy, with no southern cities and only one central Italian city (Rome) making the list. 

The bustling northern city of Milan boasts by far the most open jobs in Italy, with 14,508 unique jobs open on Glassdoor — roughly ten times as many as the next nearest city — paying an estimated average annual base pay of €39,868 per year. Next is Brescia (1,440 open jobs, €38,915 per year); Bergamo (1,284 open jobs, €37,823 per year); Monza (904 open jobs, 32,266 per year); and Rome (854 open jobs, €40,269 per year).Source: Glassdoor Economic Research (glassdoor.com/research)

Most In-Demand Jobs in Italy 

What jobs are Italian employers hiring for on Glassdoor today? The table below shows the 15 most in-demand roles with the most open jobs in Italy. Project manager is the most in-demand job in Italy, with 641 job postings, paying an average of €37,926 per year. It is followed by mechanical designer — a reflection of Italy’s robust industrial sector — with 606 open jobs, and software developer with 368 jobs. 

Notably, tech hiring remains robust in Italy despite slow overall economic growth. Among the top 10 most in-demand roles on Glassdoor, four are technology jobs: Software developer, systems engineer, software engineer, and java developer. While there are open tech roles across large Italian cities, the vast majority of tech hiring remains clustered in the north, particularly in Milan and nearby municipalities such as Bergamo. 

Job Titles with the Most Open Jobs in Italy on Glassdoor

Job Title Open Jobs on Glassdoor Average Base Pay
Project Manager 641 €37,926
Mechanical Designer 606 €36,691
Software Developer 368 €36,068
Sales Manager 362 €52,428
Systems Engineer 335 €38,895
Software Engineer 329 €40,218
Account Manager 322 €37,195
Java Developer 319 €35,795
Cook 307 €37,473
Store Manager 286 €33,639
Warehouse Worker 277 €32,989
Beauty Advisor 270 €33,934
Mechanical Engineer 262 €36,649
Area Manager 260 €43,209
Accountant 254 €32,902

Source: Glassdoor Economic Research (glassdoor.com/research)

Tech Focus: What Industries Are Hiring Tech Workers? 

While most tech jobs in Italy are in traditional tech industries like computer hardware and software, a growing number of non-tech sectors are hiring tech roles as well. In the figure below, we show the share of hiring by industry for four key in-demand tech jobs in Italy: Software developer, systems engineer, software engineer, and java developer.

While the largest share of hiring for these four tech roles is in two tech sectors (computer hardware and software, and information technology), several non-tech sectors comprise a significant share of open tech jobs, including accounting and legal, manufacturing, finance, biotech, architecture and engineering, and consulting. 

Interestingly, pay for these open tech roles varies substantially among sectors. While average estimated base pay is €43,191 per year for these four tech roles at biotech & pharmaceuticals employers, average pay is a significantly lower €36,214 per year for comparable roles in the accounting and legal sector — likely reflecting differences in supply and demand for tech talent, as well as the scale of impact for tech roles in these two sectors.  

With many traditional industries becoming more dependent on data and software, tech hiring in Italy is reaching far beyond the tech industry. This is consistent with past research in the U.S., in which we’ve found that software jobs are also rapidly spreading into non-tech sectors such as finance, retail and manufacturing as well. The fact that this trend is apparent in Italy and other EU countries as well is suggestive of a broader global shift toward tech job skills. Source: Glassdoor Economic Research (glassdoor.com/research)

Highest Paying Open Jobs in Italy

Among our sample of online jobs in Italy, the overall estimated median base pay is €36,272 per year. That’s slightly above the OECD’s estimate of average annual wage for currently employed Italians of €29,601 per year, suggesting open jobs on Glassdoor pay a premium (according to our own estimates) compared to currently filled jobs in Italy.  

The figure below shows the full distribution of base pay across the more than 58,000 open jobs in Italy on Glassdoor. The horizontal axis shows estimated base pay for the job, and the vertical axis shows the number of open jobs in each salary range, ranging from zero to €100,000 per year.  As expected, pay for most jobs in our sample hovers around the median of about €36,000, with a small number of very low- and very high-paying jobs. Open jobs paying a base pay above €70,000 per year or below €20,000 are rare in Italy.  

Source: Glassdoor Economic Research (glassdoor.com/research)

What are the highest-paying open jobs in Italy today? The figure below shows the top 10 jobs in terms of average estimated base pay in our sample. Not surprisingly, nearly all of the jobs are relatively senior managerial roles, including general manager (€86,773 per year), regional sales manager ($60,442 per year), and commercial manager (€58,796 per year). 

Among the 10 highest paying open jobs in Italy, only one is a non-managerial role: solutions architect, a relatively senior tech role paying an estimated €52,336 per year.Source: Glassdoor Economic Research (glassdoor.com/research)

Which Industries in Italy Pay Highest? 

A common perception is that the tech sector — in every country — pays the highest salaries. However, that’s not the case in Italy. 

In the table below, we show the 10 industries with the highest average base pay for open jobs on Glassdoor in Italy today. The highest-paying sector is energy and utilities, which is hiring for 382 jobs with an average salary of €47,828 per year. They are followed by the computer software and hardware industry (1,643 open jobs, €45,644 per year), health care and hospitals (506 open jobs, €44,289 per year), and biotech and pharmaceuticals (1,195 open jobs, €43,646 per year). By contrast, the lowest-paying sectors in Italy today is the restaurant and bars sector (not shown in the below table) with 1,350 open jobs paying an average of €30,587 per year.

Industry Average Base Pay Rank Open Jobs on Glassdoor
Energy & Utilities €47,828 1 382
Computer Software & Hardware €45,644 2 1,643
Health Care & Hospitals €44,289 3 506
Biotech & Pharmaceuticals €43,646 4 1,195
Banking & Financial Services €42,805 5 1,063
Manufacturing €41,914 6 3,692
Telecommunications €41,278 7 304
Government €40,657 8 248
Consulting €40,414 9 1,052
Aerospace & Defense €40,029 10 196

Note: Includes industries with at least 100 unique open jobs only. 

Source: Glassdoor Economic Research (glassdoor.com/research)

Seniority Matters in Job Titles

When it comes to job titles, an important fact for Italian job seekers is that seniority levels listed in open jobs have a big impact on pay. In the figure below, we show average base pay for open jobs in Italy on Glassdoor containing varying descriptions of seniority level. 

As is clear from the figure, roles with “senior” and “lead” in the job title pay significantly above average in Italy, with estimated pay of €50,300 per year and €50,011 per year, respectively. By contrast, open jobs listing “junior” or “assistant” in the job title pay an estimated €29,627 per year and €30,946 per year on average. When searching for jobs, Italian job seekers should be aware of these stark differences in pay that often accompany job titles at different seniority levels. Source: Glassdoor Economic Research (glassdoor.com/research)

Big Companies Dominate Hiring in Italy

Finally, we examined whether big or small companies are doing most of the hiring in Italy today. In the figure below, we show the number of unique job listings by size of employer (in terms of number of employees), along with average base pay for those open jobs. 

Overall, big companies on the far right of the below figure are hiring for the vast majority of open jobs in Italy on Glassdoor. Large employers with 5000+ employees boast 20,366 open jobs, by far the most of any group. Although there are around 30 percent more employers in the 5000+ employees category compared to the 50 or fewer employees group, there are a staggering 4.5 more open jobs at large employers. 

However, one surprising finding is that estimated pay for open jobs does not vary much in Italy across company sizes. In most countries, past research shows that large employers almost always pay higher salaries than small employers, with average pay rising along with number of employees. However, as is clear from the blue bars in the figure below, the highest average pay in our sample is for job at companies with 201-500 employees, and pay isn’t necessarily higher on average at larger workplaces in Italy.Source: Glassdoor Economic Research (glassdoor.com/research)

Conclusion

Although Italy’s economy has struggled recently, hiring on Glassdoor remains upbeat in a variety of sectors — particularly in Italy’s thriving northern cities in the Lombardy region surrounding Milan. The latest data from Glassdoor reveal more than 58,000 open jobs in Italy, with tech roles making up four of the top 10 most in-demand jobs today, including software developer, systems engineer, software engineer, and java developer. With some roles paying as much as an estimated €86,770 per year, our analysis shows a diverse jobs landscape facing Italian job seekers in 2019.