Sicily has a surface area of 25 832 39 km2 and, on account of its particular topographical configuration, has a population density of 197 inhabitants per km2. Sicily has 390 municipalities and, according to ISTAT’s latest figures as at 1 January 2016, a population of 5 074 261 (51.4 % women and 48.6 % men), 60.4 % of whom are of working age.


This statistic presents the youth unemployment rate (15 to 24 years old) in Italy in 2017, by region. According to the data, Sicily showed one of the highest youth unemployment rate with roughly 59.2 percent of the population between 15 and 24 years being unemployed.


A survey by the Excelsior information system shows an increase in the number of recruitments planned for the whole of 2016 by advanced business support services and by media and communications services. These sectors show labour demand growth of +22 % and +19 %, respectively.

Most of the 20 ‘highly skilled’ occupations (namely managers, specialists, and technicians) with the highest growth rates compared to the previous year belong to the fastest growing professional sectors:
- digital occupations (IT network and system engineers +82 %, IT system designers and administrators +42 %, web technicians +41 %),
- green occupations (water and energy network technicians +51 %, physics and geological technicians +50 %, environmental monitoring and restoration technicians +32 %),
- cultural and creative occupations (including audio-visual and film operators +30 %),
- occupations associated with the advanced monitoring of manufacturing processes (production organisation and management technicians +109 %, including, for example, industrial production process analysts and labour organisation and assessment technicians).

According to the report, labour demand will remain largely stable, with further drops in agriculture and construction being balanced out by expected increases in industry and services. The unemployment rate is expected to rise to 22.5 %. (Source: No 46 – Sicily Report, Diste Consulting for the Curella Foundation)


The most dynamic sectors are agriculture and tourism, which consolidated their upward trend. Overall, there are currently 456 962 companies in Sicily (figure updated as at 30 September 2016) – a slight increase on the previous quarter (456 761). Agriculture and tourism have proven to be the most appealing sectors for new entrepreneurs, particularly young entrepreneurs. (Source: Movimprese survey, quarterly survey conducted by Unioncamere-InfoCamere and further processed by the Economic Observatory of Unioncamere Sicilia).


From 2015 to 2017, gross domestic product in Sicily increased by 3.6 %, with an average increase of 1.5 % in the last two years.

The current year is marked by a slight fall in demand in the first period, followed by a contraction in employment (a trend already observed from the beginning of last summer); however, a growth trend should resume in the second half of 2017. (Source: No 46 – Sicily Report, Diste Consulting for the Curella Foundation).

There are also positive trends in employment, which, according to the report, has grown by 2.7 % over three years, with 20 590 more people in work compared to 2015. Nevertheless, due to the statistical impact of the entry of new persons into the labour market, the unemployment rate rose to 22 %. Overall, the number of people in work increased by 8 000 people (+0.6 %), after rising by 31 000 the previous year (+2.3 %).


An analysis of the data on the CVs submitted to the region’s job centres also shows that the worst-hit age group will continue to be young people, in particular those with a higher level of education – a trend which can only be partly addressed in the near future by providing guidance about advanced vocational training.