The number of VAT numbers has increased steadily since 2020, reaching a permanent total of 5 million members. As of December 31st, there were 5,045,000 self-employed workers, showing a slight increase compared to four years ago. However, not all sectors within the world of self-employment are thriving. Many traditional professions such as artisans, small traders, and farmers are declining while unregulated professions such as web designers, social media managers and consultants are on the rise.
The people with VAT numbers, along with micro businesses and their employees, represent a social block of over 6 million individuals that contributed almost 200 billion GDP before Covid. The positive trend recorded in the number of self-employed workers in recent years can be attributed to the economic recovery following the pandemic. Employment rates have increased and so has independent employment. Furthermore, the introduction of the flat-rate regime for self-employed businesses with revenues and compensation under €85 thousand has made managing one’s own business fiscally less burdensome. Despite this growth, there is concern about the increase in ‘false’ VAT numbers related to the surge in smart smoking products in recent years.
In terms of regional differences, Molise, Liguria, Calabria and Emilia Romagna experienced significant increases in self-employment while Abruzzo, Umbria Trentino Alto Adige and Marche saw contractions. Although the overall number of self-employed workers has risen again recently, classic professions such as artisans traders and farmers continue to decline. Between 2014 and 2022 INPS positions for company owners partners family collaborators fell across these sectors