Does marble produce “little” employment? Is the wealth of the stone sector distributed over the territory or it remains in the hands of a few? Erich Lucchetti, president of Confindustria of Massa Carrara answers no.
In his analysis, Lucchetti starts from the great world crisis of 2007-08 that led to the collapse of construction, which is the sector mostly linked directly to the marble sector. “Between 2007 and 2015, the Irta Leonardo institute calculated that more than 8,500 construction jobs were lost only in Carrara. A crisis from which the sector has not yet recovered and which has obviously affected stone companies, in a lower rate, however, thanks to the stability on foreign markets..
To calculate how much the stone sector affects the economy, Lucchetti notes that, in addition to the phases of marble extraction and processing, the marketing and development of technologies that are linked to it must also be considered. «As a whole, the marble area counts 1,923 companies, a supply chain that employs over 12,000 people in the entire district. Over 60% of these companies are in the province of Massa Carrara, a percentage that in terms of processing and marketing reaches almost 84%. And also the workers, almost 8,000 in total, are mainly from Massa Carrara (60.9%). The stone sector and related activities in the province of Massa Carrara have an incidence of almost 24% on the provincial GDP and an employment effect that weighs almost 11% of employment “.
The value of the production of the quarries, according to the data reported by Lucchetti, is around 200 million euros; that of processing companies (from sawing, to projects and to sculpture) amounts to almost 800 million. Consequently, the aggregate turnover of the sector is around one billion. “Figure that 62.8% is returned to suppliers as remuneration for the goods and services acquired, 15.1% to collaborators, 1% to banks and other financial charges and 7.9% at various levels of public administration such as taxes and fees. The remaining 13.3% is reinvested in order to self-finance growth”.
The president of the industrialists concludes: “Above all, most of these resources stayon our province. In fact, the supply chain for marble companies is particularly short. 74.9% of purchases are made from suppliers based in Massa Carrara. And 93.4% of the companies hired have their residency in Massa Carrara. It means that most of the salaries to employees and the remuneration for suppliers remain in the territory with a return calculated at 600 million euros per year. “