Unemployment requests up 12% in March (2)

But CIG applications down 58% in April year-on-year

(ANSA) - Rome, May 18 - Pensions and social security agency INPS said Thursday that it received 111,334 applications for unemployment benefit in March, a rise of 12% on the 99,435 registered in the same month in 2016. It said there were 381,495 requests in the first three months of 2017, an increase of 7% on the 356,497 for the same period last year. In the first quarter of 2014 there were 532,000 requests for unemployment benefit, while there were 494,359 in the equivalent period in 2015. On the other hand, INPS said that it received requests to pay 23.9 million hours from government lay-off fund CIG in April, down 38.8% on the 39.1 million requested in March and down 58.1% on 57 million requested in the same month in 2016. The CIG benefit is for employees who have been temporarily laid off or had their hours cut by firms in financial difficulty. INPS said 129 million CIG hours were requested for the first four months of 2017, a drop on 43% on the same period in 2016.