Starting in the 1980s, Italy has been transforming into a destination and transit country for migrants from different parts of the world. Foreign workers residing in Italy represent 8.9 percent of the total population, one-third of them being from Member States of the European Union (EU). Currently, they account for 11.7 percent of the Italian labor force.
Most migrants work in the services sector, followed by industry, construction, and agriculture. Women migrant workers are highly concentrated in the services sector, at about 40 percent of all such workers, compared with 7 percent of men migrant workers. Migrant workers have been hit particularly hard by the COVID-19 pandemic due to differences in the distribution of occupations between migrant and national workers, and the type of contracts they have.