As one of the worst-affected European countries by COVID-19 experiences a slow return to normality, all eyes are on what lies ahead. The labor market implications generated by weeks of drastic lockdown might be far-reaching, and uncertainty about the future of jobs in Italy increases. In this time of significant changes, fleshing out a range of possible future developments could help mitigate part of the uncertainty by guiding decisions at an institutional level. This research employs an intuitive logics approach (IL) to scenario development, which is particularly suited to support decision-making (Kosow and Gaßner, 2008) by deriving the implications of different courses of action. Following the IL method, this study appoints 17 experts to qualify the driving forces of youth employoment in Italy according to their level of uncertainty and impact. The results of this paper are four plausible scenarios derived from the intersection of the two highly uncertain and impactful driving forces most likely to be affected by COVID-19: the state of the economy and a skills mismatch between labor demand and supply. Although all four scenarios foresee a negative impact of the crisis on the labor market, this work shows how the government, its agencies, and supranational institutions might mitigate adverse effects by designing and implementing youth skills interventions. This research contributes to the efforts of the academic community in response to the current emergency by improving our understanding of policy options in the Italian labor market context.
Keywords: Coronavirus, COVID-19, Italy, labor market, NEETs, youth (un)employment.