Between 1991 and 2002, the number of foreigners paying into INPS (Istituto Nazionale della Previdenza Sociale), Italys state-run pensions scheme, rose from some 209,000 to over 1.4 million individuals. The figures, from a new report by INPS and IDOS (Centro studi e ricerche), highlight the rapid growth of immigrant workers in Italy. The biggest rise came in the shape of domestic helpers, whose numbers have swollen from just 40,000 in 1991 to almost 350,000 in 2002, representing around a quarter of the total. These days five out of every six home-help workers are foreigners. Of the remainder, almost 70 per cent have long-term employment contracts with companies, 3.3 per cent are seasonal agricultural workers and 2.8 per cent are self-employed. The total 2002 earnings of foreigners stood at 9.7 billion or an average of 8,000 per person.
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