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Italy - Salaries

Italy’s socialist government has various compensations for workers but the average salaries in the country are among the lowest in Europe. The average monthly salary in Italy is 3,245 EUR. The average monthly salary for a care giving or child care job is 1,250 EUR while the average monthly salary for a reception or secretarial position is 2,138 EUR. A senior lecturer in Italy would earn approximately 2,500 Euros a month while a person with the same position in the US would earn 3,700 Euros and a senior lecturer in the UK would earn 3,800 a month. The annual average salary of a physician in Italy is 84,000 dollars as compared to 114,000 dollars in the UK and 230,000 dollars in the US. A software engineer in Italy earns approximately 26,500 Euros as compared to 34,100 pounds in the UK and 78,200 dollars in the US. CEOs’ salaries in Italy are higher than any other European nation as an Italian CEO in a multinational company can make as much as 2.75 million dollars a year, in addition to bonuses and allowances. It is interesting to note that a Minister of Parliament in Italy draws an annual salary of 182,000 dollars which is higher than the US (174,000 dollars) and the UK (105,400 dollars). Some jobs such as police officers offer the option of overtime while other jobs are seasonal and only last for half the year.

The recent economic recession has also taken its toll on the financial sector in Italy, affecting wages as well. Despite the effects of economic decline and debt, Italy’s cities do offer great prospects to job seekers in certain sectors. Milan for example remains one of the world’s biggest financial centres. The struggling economy notwithstanding, employees in Milan still rake in the highest average incomes in Italy. The city also holds on to its position as a global fashion centre with the headquarters of some of the biggest fashion labels having the headquarters here. Not surprisingly, the textile and garment industry is an important sector for Milan’s economy. The tourist industry is another sector that hasn’t felt too much of a pinch from the recession and Milan is a great destination for anyone engaged in the tourist business.

Italy does not have any defined minimum wage at the national level or at the regional level. Article 36 of the Italian Constitution however states that employees should be compensated fairly, based on the quality and amount of work they perform, allowing them to maintain a decent standard of living. Minimum wages in Italy are typically based on collective bargaining agreements or CBAs that prescribe the minimum salary for relevant sectors. Even if a company has not entered into such CBAs the courts can consider the wages as set out in national CBAs.

Italy became a unified state in the mid-1800s. Most people at that time were loyal to their town or region and this viewpoint has been passed down from one generation to the next. Italians even have a word for this sense of belonging and loyalty – “campanilismo” which can be literally translated as ‘loyalty to your bell-tower’. Unfortunately, this has led to drastic economic differences between regions with the most obvious distinction being the difference between the North and the South.

The difference between incomes in the North and the South is so vast that they are often compared to different countries – where the average income in the North can be compared to France or Germany while the average income of someone in the South can be compared to Spain or Portugal. The average salary of people living in southern Italy is approximately 75% of what it is in the north. Due to the extreme regional gap in income, the average income in Lombardy is 32,000 Euros while average income in Sicily is 21,000 Euros. Generally, the salary levels in Sicily are among the lowest while Trento and Bolzano, in Veneto, Umbria and Friuli-Venezia Giulia offer higher salaries.

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