The Berlusconi Government’s Economic Policy during the First Year of Office

in Italian Politics
Author: Paolo Onofri
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During 2002, total employment in Italy rose by 1.4 percent compared

with the previous year, while GDP increased by 0.4 percent. Figures

for the other European countries were very different, however: a

growth of 0.7 percent in GDP was accompanied by only a slight rise

in total employment of 0.3 percent. The peculiarity of the Italian

economy from this point of view could be seen, paradoxically, as a

change from a phase during which growth in GDP failed to generate

additional employment (1996–1998) to one in which the stagnation

of production did not prevent the continued growth in employment

that had previously been triggered. Moreover, the additional employment

created in 2001 was less precarious than it had been before.

That is, the newly employed included a higher percentage of full-time

workers than had been the case in previous years: 92 percent of the

newly employed in 2001 were full-time employees, compared with 96

percent in 2002.