The article sheds light on the dynamics and the determinants of both low wage and in-work poverty risks in Italy, focusing the period between 2002 and 2012. Bank of Italy data show an increase in the incidence of low wage workers, a clear stratification of such risks (in terms of gender, education, individual position in the labor market) and a growing concentration at the expense of the younger cohorts. The data show also an increase in the inertia of low wage conditions, especially after the late 2000s economic downturn. With respect to the link between individual low wages and in-work poverty measured on household income, the authors show that apart from the accumulation of disadvantages experienced by household members in terms of low wage, temporary or part time employment, the highest exposure to in-work poverty are displayed by workers belonging to single-earner or low work intensity households. The overall pattern of the empirical evidence suggests that Italy is facing an increase of economic inequality both in intergenerational terms and between different household types.
Keywords: Low-wage, in-work poverty, inequality, labour market