Modern Slaves 3

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The "Modern Slaves" initiative continues with this letter from Mauro Gallegati of the Giorgio Fua' Faculty of Economics at the Universita' Politecnica delle Marche. He has taken the trouble to demonstrate with numbers and graphs what is under the eyes of all of us: that there is a reduction in the number of jobs and that precarious work is increasing, together with the new poor, those that in France are called “the low cost generation”. Write your own stories, the most interesting will be collected together into on online book that will be downloadable free from this Blog.

“Dear Grillo,

Help me. I spend the day gathering data and producing statistics about the economy, and during this election campaign, I don’t know whether to shoot myself in the foot or to ask him to shoot me. I know it’s not easy to trust a person who does numbers for a living, but I would just like to clear up two things on what has happened to workers and unemployed people over the last 10 years, from the time that Prodi led the Government and then the time that  Berlusconi took over up until now.

If on deficit and public debt, GDP, international competitiveness and domestic debts we are all unanimous in saying that the dynamics have been between pretty bad and disastrous, the statistics about unemployment are ones that the Centre Right carries with surety and displays as the product of their actions. At least up until now. Then a few days ago ISTAT {Istituto Nazionale di Statistica} said that last year the number of people in employment fell. Tremonti replied that that’s not true. He said “the only thing that counts is Eurostat” (forgetting that Eurostat gets its figures from ISTAT). Bankitalia said that the problem is that the job openings last a short time only, and that one in four young people have a “precarious” contract. And Maroni responded that limited life contracts are “statistical abstractions”. I have a good mind to show him, as I said, a few numbers to clear this up.

There are two ways to measure employment. You can count the number of people who are working, and how many units of “full time equivalents” there are. The latter method takes into account how many hours each person is working. If there are 2 plumbers working 60 hours a week, the number of employed people is 2, but since each one works the equivalent of one and a half times a normal full time (set at 40 hours a week), the units of work (of full time equivalents) are 3. If then work goes badly, and both work only 20 hours, the number of workers employed is  still 2, but the units of work are now just one. In practise, in one way you are counting heads, in the other way you are counting how much work there is.

In the attached graphs you can see what has happened to work and to workers in the ten years that opened with Prodi and closed with Berlusconi. The first thing to say is employment has grown during the time of the Centre Right. But the growth had already started with the Centre Left. The “small” difference is that during the time of the Centre Left, employment started slowly and then grew. During the time of the Centre Right it started off growing and then slowed down suddenly in the last two years. Looking at the units of work then the slow down is even more drastic and became a drop in the last year (this is what has been emphasised by both ISTAT and Bankitalia). Note that for the first time in the history of the Republic, there are more workers than there are units of work. Yes there are more people working, but there’s little work

Employed people and units of work.
Source: ISTAT, Statistical Series of national accounts 1970 – 2005. Published: 14-3-2006.

In the second set of graphs which I’m attaching, you can see that even unemployment has fallen in the last 5 years. Once more, this is not a gift from the Centre Right, the fall has been happening (fortunately) for about 10 years. The number of people unemployed is not a figure to look at in isolation. There are situations in which things are going well, but unemployment is increasing: what happens is that many are fired up by an engine of optimism and they set about looking for work, and until they find it the number of unemployed people increases. And there are situations when the market is so depressed that many raise the white flag, give up looking for work, and the number of unemployed goes down. In the graph I’ve shown the number of the so-called “discouraged”, that is people without work who in reply to ISTAT’s question “Why are you not looking for work?” choose the answer “I don’t think I will manage to find work”. The number of discouraged people (600,000 towards the end of 2003) saw a sharp rise taking the number to 1,000,000 early in 2004 and then continuing to rise to about 1,250,000. It’s enough to convince another half million people that it’s useless looking for work and we can take the figures for unemployment to a comforting 5.5%. .
Unemployed and discouraged

And then the “precarious” workers. By looking at the data from Eurostat, it seems that Berlusconi gets his information about “precarious” work from the second quarter of 2001, where it’s at 9.5%: this was the percentage of workers with a short term contract in relation to the total number of employees. In the second quarter of 2005, we already had 12.5% (and that’s not counting the - Collaborazioni Coordinate e Continuative). Someone like Maroni could make out that the fact that a contract has an end date doesn’t change much. That you know that your job is solid unless you are told otherwise, or that it has an end-date unless you are told otherwise, doesn’t change anything. This is such a great heresy that I sacrificed a Saturday evening and I calculated a simple statistic starting from INPS {Istituto Nazionale della Previdenza Sociale} data: the correlation to be seen between the type of contract held by a female worker and the fact that this worker decides to have a child or not. OK, if she has a “precarious” job, the probability that a woman worker will have a child is reduced by a factor of 10.

Thank you for the attention.”

Mauro Gallegati

Posted by Beppe Grillo at 11:13 AM in | Comments (11)
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Hello bloggers, I'm Marcello from Bologna. Actually I am looking for a job in Bologna and Modena area since 2002 and I cannot manage to get one. I have a degree in Industrial Engineering, a degree in European Business with Tecnology and I have studied 4 years in England. I am really fed up of going around recruiting agencies (I had nearly 50 interviews in 4 years) for junior positions. I have found in this area that both the recruiting agency and HR managers really don't know how to evaluate people and job positions. I've been called for a job I did 6 years ago, and now I'm not interested any more; or I've been called for positions that my staff occupies. What they (Recruiting agencies - RA and HRM) can't understand is that people answer to ads because they want to grow and to have a tougher challenge. But they look for the experienced people to do the same job at even a lower level. Where's the motivation to change? Moreover, to confirm Maena's statement, in 50 interviews no one has ever talked about money and entry level - as they write on the ad, "sarà commisurata alle esperienze raggiunte" (it'll depend on the experience level achieved). Now I'm 35 and I am freightened to be one of those discouraged to find a different job. But I'll try. Best luck to everyone.

Posted by: Marcello Cappelletti | April 24, 2006 09:58 PM

I read what you went thru and I have to say that the majority of HR offices in Italy is just touching the bottom of the barrel.
Those people think that we all live in cabins without electricity and running water and we would take the bait or we are so desperate to find a job at their conditions.
Did you tell this lady where to stick her offer?

Posted by: Giovanni Principe | March 25, 2006 02:57 PM

You are heading for a catastrophe if Mr B gets re-elected. Soon in Italy you will be getting what is happening in the UK for some time now. It is true that there is flexibility of work but is even truer that people can be sent home very easily. A story crops up in my mind of a chap working for a company for quite long time (10 or 20 years), I don`t remember, he was told via text message when he was on holiday that he needn`t bother to come back.
Italians come out from hibernation and get rid of the cancer while you are awake

Posted by: Francesco | March 23, 2006 04:29 PM

Ops.. now I desire to do a children :)
Berlusconi is one cancer in the Italy society :(

Posted by: Houses for sale Poland | March 22, 2006 10:39 PM

In order to protect jobs and wages we have to buy only those products complying with the rights of workers, environment and consumers.

Unfortunately, to gain pieces of the market, wild competition pushes to reduce the prices of products; in order to reduce prices we need to decrease wages and by decreasing wages nobody has money to buy anything any longer.

Here is the global economics crisis.

On the market there are many products available but just a few people have the money to purchase them.

And the various nations spend to fix envoironmental disasters rather than creating income for their citizens

We need to buy only those products complying with the rights of workers and the environment: it’s not enough to fight to defend jobs or to have better wages.

Posted by: Giorgio Cavalli | March 22, 2006 04:37 PM

If shops all around the world are full of items and billions of people cannot afford them:
a) there’s a lack of jobs
b) there’s a lack of items
c) there’s a lack of money

If restaurants are empty and throw away fridges full of food:
a) there’s a lack of hunger
b) there’s a lack of cooks
c) there isn’t enough money to haunt restaurants

If hundreds of thousands of doctors don’t have patients:
a) there are a few ill people
b) there are too many doctors
c) there isn’t enough money to afford treatments

Money for all! Right here, right now!

Enough money to live, have access to treatments, education, to travel and to have fun too!

Posted by: Giorgio Cavalli | March 22, 2006 04:35 PM

I know very well how the recruiting process works in Italy, It was my job!
I worked in the past for a Recruiting Agency and beacuse of this I gave up!
Recruiting Agencies in other countries works better, they give all kind of informations, about all the salary range, it's a very important information in order to decide to take a job or not!
But here, in Italy, however qualified we are, we must be grateful if we have the possibility to get any job, we sank so low, thanks our Government!

Posted by: Raffaella Biferale | March 22, 2006 03:31 PM

These are the effects of globalisation on a rigid and inflexible economy that suffers from low investment in technology and lags behind in educating its workforce. An inflexible labour market and heavy labour taxes have discouraged employment for decades. A huge national debt from past profligacy and waste and impossible pension obligations are a huge burden on the economy. Sadly, excellent opportunities in the past 20 years to correct this state of affairs have been wasted. Low awareness of the global economy by most italians has also resulted in parochial political choices that have brought to power a bickering and ineffective political class. Great changes are required in the political maturity of the country as a whole before any real change can take place. It will have to get worse before it gets better.

Posted by: Michele Bina | March 22, 2006 01:16 PM

Dear Bloggers & Beppe,
following is a post about emails exchanged between a recruiting agency based in Bologna and myself.
You can read it (I deleted the firm and employee names for courtesy, but I have it in my inbox) and tell me if Italy is such a great place for workers as our current Government is trying to convince us of.

Who is familiar with European international job market knows that

• You can find and apply for jobs on job search engines or specialized recruiting agency on the web.
• Job positions mentions: name & description of the job, to who you will report, place of work, salary range and bonus package if existing.
• First you have a preliminary interview with the recruiting agency either on site or by phone if both are in the same country. On the phone if the two are in different countries.
• If you succeed and the company is based abroad you can have a first screening phone interview, average 1 / 1.5 hrs, directly with the company.
• Some companies ask also to write a little essay about your business profile and what you have done.
• If you succeed you are invited for an interview on site. Usually the company pays full time ticket or 50%.

Please have a look how it works in Italy.



Posted by: Maena Gambaiani | March 22, 2006 01:11 PM

-----Original Message-----
From: D.B. []
Sent: 01 February 2005 13:05
Subject: Proposta di impiego da O. Dott.ssa Gambaiani,
Le scrivo dalla O. Srl di Bologna, una Societa' di Ricerca e Selezione del Personale presso la quale Lei ha inviato un suo curriculum in data 10/05/03. Pur non avendo un aggiornamento della Sua attuale situazione professionale, come da prassi siamo ad informarLa che in questo momento stiamo cercando, per un'azienda nostra cliente con sede a Bologna, il seguente profilo:
- Settore: Societa' specializzata nel realizzare sistemi informativi e nella consulenza organizzativa e gestionale.
- Principali compiti e responsabilita' inerenti la funzione: lavorare in progetti di riorganizzazione dei processi operativi e gestionali dei Clienti, basati su sistemi ERP e Web-oriented (programmazione esclusa). Si occuperà di: analisi dei processi interessati dal nuovo sistema; configurazione del software, per gestire e migliorare i processi stessi; formazione delle Risorse del Cliente; supporto al Cliente per il cambiamento e la riorganizzazione dei processi.
-Trasferte: fino a 5 giorni la settimana, in tutta Italia.
-Requisiti richiesti: esperienza nell'implementazione di sistemi ERP / software gestionale con esperienza significativa in area Produzione/Logistica acquisita in industrie manufatturiere; laurea Ingegneria gestionale, Informatica, Economia; utilizzo Office (word, excel, powerpoint, access) ed SQL da utilizzatore; forte predisposizione alla relazione con il Cliente; buona capacita' di comunicazione verbale e scritta; spirito di iniziativa; capacita' di lavorare per obiettivi; Residenza: Bologna e dintorni o disponibilita' al trasferimento.
-Si offre assunzione a tempo indeterminato.
Se dovesse essere interessata a partecipare alla selezione saro' lieta di fornirLe ulteriori chiarimenti ed eventualmente fissare un colloquio di aggiornamento presso i nostri uffici, pertanto La prego di contattarmi al seguente numero:
O. Srl - Ricerca e selezione del personale
051 (lunedi'-giovedi' 9-13 e 15-19, venerdi' 9-13 e 14-18; negli altri orari e' in funzione la segreteria)
oppure di inviarmi una e-mail di risposta, con eventualmente il suo curriculum aggiornato, a:
La prego inoltre di darmi un riscontro anche qualora non dovesse essere interessata, cosi' ho la possibilita' di aggiornare i Suoi dati e di non disturbarLa nuovamente
Cordiali Saluti

O. Srl

Via , – 40121 Bologna (BO)
tel. 051 - fax 051
web site: http://www. .it
Società accreditata dal Ministero del Lavoro e delle Politiche Sociali all'esercizio dell'attività di Ricerca e Selezione del Personale in data 24 settembre 2004, Prot. 717/RS

----- Original Message -----
From: mgambaiani
To: 'D.B.'
Sent: Sunday, February 06, 2005 8:37 PM
Subject: RE: Proposta di impiego da O. Sig.ra B.,
La ringrazio per il suo interessamento nel mio profilo lavorativo. La posizine in questione e’ sicuramente di mio interesse.
Le invio pertanto il mio curriculum aggiornato con le nuove esperienze lavorative e studi.
Come potra’ leggere, accanto al mio lavoro, sono attualmente impegnata nel conseguimento del mio Master in Business Administration presso l’universita’ Webster.
Spero di avere al piu’ presto Sue notizie.

Cordiali saluti,

Maena Gambaiani

-----Original Message-----
From: D.B. []
Sent: 07 February 2005 11:01
To: mgambaiani
Subject: Re: Proposta di impiego da O. Dott.ssa Gambaiani,
La ringrazio per avermi inviato il suo curriculum aggiornato.
Rispetto alla selezione in corso, sono a chiederLe se sia ancora intenzionata a trasferirsi nel bolognese (come ci aveva comunicato nel curriculum inviato a maggio 2003), ed eventualmente quali potrebbero essere i tempi per un Suo trasferimento.
Nel ringraziarLa per l'attenzione, Le porgo cordiali saluti


Via , – 40121 Bologna (BO)
tel. 051 - fax 051
web site: http://www. .it
Società accreditata dal Ministero del Lavoro e delle Politiche Sociali all'esercizio dell'attività di Ricerca e Selezione del Personale in data 24 settembre 2004, Prot. 717/RS

----- Original Message -----
From: mgambaiani
To: 'D.B.'
Sent: Monday, February 07, 2005 4:01 PM
Subject: RE: Proposta di impiego da O. Sig.ra B,
innanzi tutto La ringrazio per la Sua tempestiva risposta.
Sono certamente interessata a rientrare in Italia ed in special modo nel’area del Bolognese, essendo di origine ravennate ed avendo studiato a Bologna.
Se la posizione e’ allettante in termini di esperienza lavorativa e di salario i tempi possono oscillare tra 1 / 2 mesi.
Leggendo la descrizione della posizione potrei azzardare che i possibili Vostri clienti siano o F. o il GP.
Potrebbe essere cosi’ gentile da indicarmi il range del salario lordo offerto (su base annua ovviamente)?
La ringrazio sin d’ora e Le auguro una buona giornata.
Cordiali saluti.

Maena Gambaiani

-----Original Message-----
From: D.B. []
Sent: 08 February 2005 16:15
To: mgambaiani
Subject: Re: Proposta di impiego da O. Dott.ssa Gambaiani,
relativamente alla retribuzione annua lorda, non sono in grado di fornirLe informazioni più dettagliate: i nostri clienti trattano gli aspetti economici direttamente con i candidati, dopo una prima selezione.
In questa fase, non mi è nemmeno possibile riferirLe il nome del nostro cliente.
Se è interessata all'offerta, ed ha la possibilità di venire presso i nostri uffici per un colloquio, La prego di indicarmi la Sua disponibilità temporale.
Cordiali saluti
D. B.

Via – 40121 Bologna (BO)
tel. 051 - fax 051
web site: http://www. .it
Società accreditata dal Ministero del Lavoro e delle Politiche Sociali all'esercizio dell'attività di Ricerca e Selezione del Personale in data 24 settembre 2004, Prot. 717/RS

----- Original Message -----

From: mgambaiani
To: 'D.B.'
Sent: Tuesday, February 08, 2005 5:52 PM
Subject: RE: Proposta di impiego da O.

Gent’ma Sig.ra B.,
il mio interesse nell’offerta e’ sicuramente vivo.
Non sarebbe neppure un problema prendere un’areo per Bologna cosi’ da incontrarLa per una prima intervista. Convenientemente vivo vicino a Schipol airport.
Un’indicazione retributiva della posizione mi permettere di comprendere il ruolo all’interno dell’azienda, la sua bonta’ in termini di esperienza lavorativa e di futura crescita nell’organizzazione.
Le fornisco un ‘esempio grossolano cosi’ da essere piu’ concreta. Una retribuzione annua lorda di 26.000 €, composta di 12 mensilita’, non e’ di mio interesse, poiche’ ritengo questo salario tipico di una posizione junior di entrata.
Capisco perfettamente la Sua pozione e se lo desidera suggerisco di avere un primo colloquio telefonico. Sarebbe per me un piacere conoscerLa.
Se dovesse ritenermi una candidata apppetibile puo’ portare avanti la mia candidatura con il suo cliente, sempre ammese le condizioni sopra citate.
Sicuramente i miei numeri telefonici sono sul curriculum, ma per sicurezza Le rinnovo tutti i contatti

0031-071-5136105 abitazione

0031-06-55502061 cellulare

La ringrazio nuovamente per la Sua tempestivita’ e puntualita’.

Cordiali saluti,

Maena Gambaiani

-----Original Message-----
From: D.B. []
Sent: 10 February 2005 15:43
To: mgambaiani
Subject: Re: Proposta di impiego da O. Dott.ssa Gambaiani,
come le anticipavo, non sono in grado di fornirLe indicazioni circa la retribuzione, dal momento che questa viene discussa direttamente dai nostri clienti e definita anche sulla base delle caratteristiche del candidato presentato.
Relativamente poi alla possibilità di un colloquio telefonico, sono spiacente ma non è questa la nostra modalità di procedere: per raccogliere tutte le informazioni necessarie a stilare il profilo dei candidati dobbiamo necessariamente incontrarli per un colloquio face to face.
Per il momento, dunque, posso solo invitarLa a mantenerci aggiornati sulla Sua situazione professionale inviandoci aggiornamenti del suo curriculum, qualora ve ne siano.
Cordiali saluti

D. B.

Via – 40121 Bologna (BO)
tel. 051 - fax 051
web site: http://www. .it
Società accreditata dal Ministero del Lavoro e delle Politiche Sociali all'esercizio dell'attività di Ricerca e Selezione del Personale in data 24 settembre 2004, Prot. 717/RS

Posted by: Maena Gambaiani | March 22, 2006 01:10 PM

Partecipate a questa ricerca commissionata dall' università Americana, Rice University, per aiutare la ricerca a migliorare l'economia italiana.

Grazie della collaborazione e grazie a tutti coloro che hanno già partecipato

Posted by: Silvia Vianello | March 22, 2006 12:20 PM

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