The job market in Milan

labour market in Milan
Updated 2023-04-20 20:07

Fashion, design, finance, culture, tourism and many other sectors are the key components of Milan's labor market. This city, rich in possibilities, is dedicated to each of its inhabitants' intellectual and professional development.

The job market in Milan in figures

Today, Lombardy accounts for one-fifth of Italy's GDP, and Milan alone accounts for 10%. The city has the largest number of companies, nearly 390,000 (Assolombarda 2022 figures), and non-governmental organizations in the country, employing 1.6 million people. The pharmaceutical and life sciences, chemical, manufacturing, media and service sectors are the most successful in Milan. The banking and insurance sector is the beating heart of the city. Unemployment in Milan stands at 6.5% (ISTAT 2022) of the metropolitan population, although the employment rate of 68.3% in Lombardy has almost reached the level of the pre-Covid era. Today, after the pandemic, the most productive professional categories are in the pharmaceutical, technology (leading the recovery), IT and digital marketing sectors, as well as in services offered by professionals such as engineers, researchers and teachers.

What are the most prominent sectors in Milan?

Looking for a job in Milan is a job in itself, although there is plenty of diverse opportunities. Milan has always been a center of innovation, open to the world. The city offers the best business environment in Italy and attracts visitors and job seekers from all over the country and abroad. In addition to its strong cultural and artistic identity, Milan also has a chic industrial soul due to the strong presence of multinational companies in all fields.

Milan's rich history, dating back to the Renaissance, bears witness to commercial exchanges, communication, construction and intense financial development. These conditions have created entrepreneurial opportunities in industrial design, computer science, information and communication technologies and scientific research. This has led the city to a higher standard of living than the rest of the country and opened up opportunities for the development of art, fashion and design, which are omnipresent in the lives of Milanese at all levels.

The banking sector in Milan

Milan is part of the Western European region and has a high concentration of population and wealth. The banking system is supported by a large number of financial companies and some 17 foreign chambers of commerce. The city hosts the Italian offices of the world's leading rating agencies, such as Standard and Poor's, Moody's and Fitch Ratings.

The financial heart of Milan is in the area around the Borsa Italiana in the city center, where Maurizio Cattelan's famous monument mocking the Nazi regime can be seen. Milan offers many opportunities to discover the world of banking and finance. From Bocconi University, one of Europe's leading universities of economics and finance, to the large number of banking institutions, the city is cut out to shine in this field.

Milan's fashion industry

As a fashionista city, Milan has plenty of opportunities for those who wish to study fashion, for example, at prestigious schools such as Istituto Marangoni or Istituto di Moda Burgo. Milan is also known for its twice-yearly Fashion Week. During this period, designers, models and bloggers take to the streets of the centre, the Fashion Quadrilateral, the Galleria Vittorio Emanuele, Brera and Tortona. In fact, most of the major brands have their headquarters in Milan: Valentino, Gucci, Versace, Prada and Dolce & Gabbana, Luxottica, Moschino, etc. The presence of these multinationals is an inspiration for the haute couture sector, provided that they know how to deal with the fierce competition in this sector. Moreover, the sector is rather compartmentalized, and it is generally difficult to enter.

Research in Milan

Sustainability is an important issue in Milan, and the city has become a key player in environmental and energy issues. Indeed, it is home to some of the largest research and development-oriented companies but also to the best Italian universities focused on scientific and social research, such as the Politecnico, which focuses exclusively on science and technology and trains engineers, architects and designers, and the Università Cattolica del Sacro Cuore, which offers doctorates and post-doctorates in physics, biomedical engineering, social studies, etc.

Professional events in Milan

Milan continuously hosts many events, from the exhibition center with Milano Fiera to events such as Design Week and Fashion Week, to the upcoming Milan-Cortina Olympic Games 2026 in Italy. These short-term projects are a good opportunity to meet key people and develop your professional network in Milan.

Apart from these events and the traditional employment sectors, it is also possible to easily find part-time jobs in Milan, such as childcare, sports-related jobs, or jobs in hospitality, retail and customer service. As Milan is a dynamic city, many bars and restaurants are also looking for experienced waitpersons to work during the day and/or evening.

Milan is undoubtedly the epicenter of the "Made in Italy" concept. It is both the showcase of Italy abroad and a city eager for evolution, novelty and innovation. It ranks first in Italy in terms of wealth, the standard of living, business and work. Thanks to its international companies, numerous SMEs, and startups, especially in the renewable energy sector, and its propensity for networking, Milan offers good job opportunities.

Useful links :

Assolombarda - Association of companies of the city of Milan

EURES - Labour market in Lombardy

Regione Lombardia - Work and professional training

Comune di Milano - Job offer/application meeting


Design Week

Fashion week

Milano Fiera

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