South Tyrolean graduates leave Italy

Marketplace in Bolzano. Photo: Tim Hersevoort

BOLZANO Trade unions in South Tyrol, an autonomous province in northeastern Italy, ring the alarm bells as young graduates leave the region in search of work abroad.

By Tim Hersevoort

Low incomes and high real estate prices are the main factors driving the graduates away. In Italy, youngsters starting on the job market earn a median income of 1078 euro’s per month. At the same time, housing prices in Bolzano, South Tyrol’s capital of roughly 100.000 inhabitants, are comparable to those in Milan.

Alexander Wurzer, board member of the youth department of the South Tyrolean federation of trade unions (ASGB-Jugend) said to the local news website “No wonder that around 50 per cent of the university graduates want to leave Northern Italy.”


South Tyrol is one of the best performing provinces in Italy’s battered economy. It’s unemployment rate is 2,7 per cent, the lowest in the entire European Union. And income per head of the population is with 34.700 euros 40 per cent higher than Italy’s average.Yet, according to ASGB-Jugend, changes need to be made to keep young graduates in South Tyrol.

Studies need to be adjusted to labor market realities (especially many technical job applications remain open) and the high cost of living in the province needs to be revised.


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