Italy is a country of small (and medium) enterprises . To confirm a study ISTAT for 2009 that 95% of Italian companies have less than 10 employees (micro enterprises) and employs 47% of total employment, and 65.2%, about 3 million businesses, has not No employee. Companies active in industry and
services are just under 4.5 million and employ a total of about 17.5 million people.
ISTAT has detected a high concentration of workers in the manufacturing sector (23% of the total), in wholesale and retail trade (20%) and construction (11%).
Two-thirds of companies are individual and involve 25% of the employed, other companies (18% of cases) take the legal form of a partnership, one of the companies (17% of companies), and co-operative societies (1, 1%).
Between 2008 and 2009, in the midst of economic crisis, decreased by 1% the number of firms and 2% its occupation. Industry reduces all manufacturing (-4.5% and -5.4% firms employment). Only increases the utilities sector, companies that provide electricity, gas, steam and air conditioning (+19.6% +1% business and employment) and business water supply, sewerage, treatment waste management and remediation (+3.6% both businesses and employment).
The economic crisis has affected all of Italy. In particular, the South and the Northeast accounts for over 60% of the reduction in terms of national enterprises (respectively -1.9% and -1.1%), while nearly two-thirds of reduced employment is concentrated in the North (- 2.6% in the Northeast and 2.1% in the north-west).