Economic recession seems to have called off the main motivation for the acceptance of immigrants in Italy: that of labour market’s needs. This article shows that, despite many difficulties, immigrants have increased their weight on employment, passing from less than 7% in 2008 to more than 10% in 2015. Persisting segmentation of the labour market and expansion of menial jobs are the main explanations. Furthermore, the fiscal balance between immigrants and the State at present is in favour of the latter, as among immigrants pensioners are almost absent and people in need of health care are less than in the Italian population. Differences in age distribution explain this fact. At the same time, immigrants are socially vulnerable and risk to fall into poverty more than the Italians: the shortage of protection by family networks, especially the absence of relatives receiving pensions, and the obligation to send remittances are the most meaningful explanations. In conclusion, the article claims that Italian society is still in need of immigrants’ labour, and an economic recovery could not occur without a growing participation of immigrants in the Italian labour market.
Keywords: Immigration, employment, labour market, social protection, resilience