The professional category most affected by Covid is that of VAT numbers, self-employed workers, artisans, shopkeepers, small traders and freelancers registered with orders or cash registers, in short, the world of independent work. Thus the study office of the CGIA of Mestre according to which in the last two years this population of micro-entrepreneurs has significantly thinned since 321,000 workers are missing from the appealthe.
If in February 2020 (pre-pandemic month) the total stock amounted to 5,194,000 units, last December (latest data available) it fell to 4,873,000 units (-6.2%).
On the contrary, in the same period, the trend in the number of employees improves. Still in the same period, the audience increased by 34 thousand units (+ 0.2%), although it should be noted that people with permanent contracts decreased by 98 thousand units (-0.6%), while those with a fixed-term employment relationship increased by 133,000 (+ 4.5%). However, underlines the association of artisans, the contraction in the number of self-employed workers began well before the advent of Covid.
Withdrawal VAT numbers: other than Covid, the crisis is further away
The maximum number was reached in June 2016, when these micro-entrepreneurs had reached 5,428,000. Subsequently, there was a tendency to decline until reaching the all-time low reached last December at 4,873,000 units.
It should be remembered that, according to Istat, independent workers are those who carry out their work without formal subordination constraints. They understand:
- assistants in the family business,
- non-employee cooperative members,
- collaborators (with and without project)
- occasional workers.
With the advent of Covid, in the first six months of 2020 the number of self-employed and gods employees It fell apart. Subsequently, the employees recovered, until they reached the same level as we had before the start of the pandemic, while the self-employed, on the other hand, recovered from the summer and then dropped to a very worrying extent until the end of the year. If, therefore, in the first part of 2021 there was a slight recovery, then there was a sinusoidal trend which, in December, brought the number of self-employed to the lowest level ever reached before.
The pandemic crisis and the consequent limitations to mobility, the drop in consumption, taxes and the soaring cost of rents are the main causes which forced many VAT numbers to permanently close the business.
In addition, dear energy has also been felt in recent months. The electricity and gas bills, in fact, have suffered frightening increases. Furthermore, if we take into account that in the last 10 years the commercial policies of large-scale distribution and the boom in online sales have become increasingly targeted and aggressive, for many craftsmen and as many small traders there was no escape.
The only solution was to definitively throw in the towel, stressed by the CGIA which, however, proposes an alternative.
To attempt a turnaround, in addition to lowering taxes, relaunching consumption and lightening the bureaucracy, it is necessary, especially in crafts, re-evaluate manual labor because in the last 40 years there has been a frightening cultural devaluation. Through the school reforms that have taken place in recent years, some important steps have been taken, but that is not enough. Must do a real revolution to restore dignity, social value and a just economic recognition to all those professions where knowing how to do with one’s own hands constitutes an additional virtue that we risk guilty of losing. As we said, the crisis is there, it bites and frightens, but, despite this, there is also the downside.
In fact, there are not a few sectors where jobs remain uncovered because young people are not willing to engage professionally. The drivers of heavy vehicles, assigned to numerical control machines, turners, millers, painters and sheet metal workers are almost impossible to find. Not to mention that, net of foreign workers, in the construction sector it is increasingly difficult to find owners of earthmoving machinery, carpenters, overcoats, installers and tinsmiths.
For almost a year, CGIA has been asking both al Premier Draghi that the governors open a permanent crisis table at national and local level. In fact, as never before, it is necessary to give an answer to a world, the autonomous one, which is experiencing a particularly delicate situation. Mind you, there are no miraculous measures.