New Prato:
Innovation insight

Enrico Fabbri

This month's researcher is Enrico Fabbri, head of the Laboris Laboratorio del PIN. Enrico was born and raised in Prato by Emilian parents. He graduated in political science from Cesare Alfieri in Florence. After finishing the Master in Labor Sciences at the PIN, he began his research activity for various private structures and government agencies at a very young age. Today he is the Head of Laboris, the Labor Science Laboratory of Pin. An important reference point at national level in the study and knowledge of the problems of the world of work.
Let's see what he told us.

(Q) Enrico, can you tell us why it is important to study work?
(A) I answer you in the words of Reinhard Bendix, a sociologist of German origin. In the 1950s, in a book called "Work and authority in industry", he expresses a surprisingly current concept: "Ideas relating to work reflect and influence the relationships in which men enter in order to earn a living and in order to produce the material goods and services on which the industrial way of life depends. These ideas influence life, freedom and well-being of everyone: this is why they are important”.

What is Laboris specialized in?

We specialize in analyzing labor markets. I speak in the plural because there is never a single job market, but there are also many, for example, within a single city like Prato. Laboris is now a leading structure at a national level, specialized in the analysis of all phenomena connected, directly and indirectly, to the labor market. Among our expertise today there is also the analysis of the so-called mandatory communications.

What are mandatory communications?
Each employer must make a communication within 5 days of hiring his employee. By analyzing the data contained in these communications, we are able to obtain very important information and to answer questions such as: What are the needs of companies? What are the companies that are hiring? Which ones, however, do not hire? What level of specialization is required? In addition, since we have access to the historical series of mandatory communications, through specific statistical methods, we are able to make rather reliable forecasts of short and medium-term employment trends with margins of error, usually only 3%.

I imagine that this information is important for a plurality of subjects: from municipal administrations to universities up to individuals.
Exactly. Not only do we monitor the market, but with our algorithms we can predict employment impacts and help public bodies to design or implement policies to support socio-economic development and innovation. We are also able to understand what are the repercussions on the labor market of certain events, such as, for example, the Covid-19 pandemic. Laboris is currently the labor market observatory in the province of Prato, and that of the province of Monza Brianza. Furthermore, in both contexts, we carry out a pandemic crisis monitoring activity. In Monza we then give technical assistance to the so-called General States of the province which - I remember - has a GDP comparable to that of Baden-Württemberg and produces a quantity of wealth which is not negligible for our country. We also manage the Observatory of the labor market in Catania, Ragusa and soon also that of the entire region of Sicily.

What is innovation for you?
Most people believe that innovating means innovating products or processes. Of course all this is a necessary condition, but, in my opinion not sufficient, I believe that innovation processes alone have little value if they are not able to produce an effective impact on society as a whole. Let's take an example: if I produced data, but I did not disseminate them and I did not make them public, leaving them only in the hands of those who commissioned the research, the innovation that is in our methodologies would be of little use. LABORIS works for the entire local community and for this reason it produces an innovation that tends to contribute to the social progress of the territory.