Analysis: Why us? Italy seeks way out of low-wage economy trap

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  • Italy only European country where wages have fallen since 1990
  • Tried to compete with Asia by cutting costs
  • Most new jobs on temporary, low paid contracts
  • Country has no minimum wage

ROME, June 16 (Reuters) – Diana Parini left her waitressing job at an Italian Alpine resort last month because she was fed up with the pay and conditions: eight euros per hour, of which six were paid cash-in-hand with no welfare or pension contributions.

Parini, 44, who has a modern languages degree, went home to Milan to work as a dogsitter.

Millions of others have similar stories in Italy, where much work is unregulated and – uniquely in Europe – wage growth has been stagnant for 30 years.

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With consumer prices surging across the euro zone, there are signs wages are also climbing – but not in Italy, the bloc’s third-largest economy.

Negotiated wages in the single-currency area rose 2.8% in the first quarter from a year…

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