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Working in Rome

Are you considering a job in Rome as the next step in your career path? For more about what the Italian business world has to offer you, from the economy, to job hunting, and working hours, read our guide to working in Rome.

At a Glance:

  • Italy is the world’s eighth largest economy and the fourth largest economy in the Eurozone.
  • The services sector employs the highest number of people in Rome, particularly in banking, finance, and real estate.
  • In 2016, the average number of hours worked by employees in Italy was 40.6 hours per week.
  • For state pensions, mandatory contributions are 33% of an employee’s gross salary. Your employer covers the bulk of this (28.31%), while the remaining 9.19% is deducted from the employees’ paycheck.

The Economic Climate

For many expats, the idea of working in Rome is, on the one hand, enticing, yet at the same time comes with some drawbacks.

With an ever-increasing public debt, the government’s budget deficit, and stagnating foreign investment, expats considering a move may be concerned about the state of the Italian economy. At the same time, however, Italy has seen gradual economic growth — the economy has advanced by 1.5% in 2017 — and a decreasing unemployment rate. Italy still has the eighth largest economy in the world, and the fourth largest in the Eurozone, contributing approximately 2.46% of the world economy. Many Italians are rightfully proud of the high-quality products created in the nation’s many small and medium enterprises.

The Italian economy is based almost entirely on small or medium-sized, often family-run, businesses, and they contribute around 70% of the entire GDP. Although it may be difficult for expats to join a small, family-run business, there are plenty of other opportunities when it comes to working in Rome.

Fashion, Tourism, and High-Tech

While much of the industry is concentrated in the north of the country, there are many employment opportunities in Rome’s chemical and pharmaceutical sectors, or in the high-tech and aerospace industries, with their R&D facilities. It should be noted that vehicle engineering, electrical engineering, machinery and equipment, and the chemical industry were all affected by the recession and the subsequent decreased domestic consumption — but recovery is slowly taking place.

It is the services sector that is the big employer for most people working in Rome, in fields including finance, banking, and real estate. General business services — e.g. tax consulting, logistics, or HR management — also provide many jobs in the city. The national capital is also the home of several big employers that used to be owned by the Italian government, such as the electric utility provider Enel, one of the leaders in the energy business. For the creative expats, there are also roles in the media and fashion industries. As one of the world’s most visited cities, working in Rome’s thriving tourism industry could be another option for expats.

Opportunities of the Future

Another chance for expats who want to work in Rome could be the air and ground support industry. According to the Masterplan Fiumicino Nord, Rome’s Leonardo da Vinci Airport in Fiumicino will be gradually expanded from four to eight terminals during the next three decades. This should create new jobs for those working in Rome’s flagging construction industry, as well as in infrastructure planning, logistics, and air support.

If you’re interested in working in Rome, you will be glad to hear that the city has the second highest average income in Italy, right after Milan. It also has a lower cost of living than its perennial rival in Lombardy.


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