Italian unemployment, youth jobless hit record highs
12.2% for all, above 40% for young for first time01 October, 18:52
(ANSA) - Rome, October 1 - More and more people are losing their jobs in recession-hit Italy and fewer young people are finding work, according to new figures out Tuesday.
Overall unemployment in Italy returned to a record high of 12.2% in August, national statistics agency Istat said. The jobless rate also touched 12.2% in May - the highest level since Istat started using its current calculation method in January 2004 for monthly data and in the first quarter of 1997 for quarterly data. August's unemployment rate was 0.1% up on July and 1.5% higher than in the same month in 2012.
Youth unemployment in crossed the 40% mark for the first time in August, when 40.1% of 15-to-24-year-olds on the job market were out of work, Istat said. According to provisional data, the youth unemployment rate was 0.4% higher in August than in July and 5.5% up on the same month in 2012. The rate had never been over 40% since Istat started using its current calculation method in January 2004 for monthly data and in the first quarter of 1997 for quarterly data.
The agency said 667,000 under-25s were without a job and actively looking for work, according to preliminary data not adjusted for seasonal variations.
Young people who are in eduction and training are not considered part of the job market and neither are those who have given up hope of finding a job and not actively looking for one.
Istat said the young people who are unemployed and actively looking for work amounted to 11.1% of all people in the 15-24 age range.
The data came out on the same day Pope Francis said youth unemployment, along with loneliness in old age, were the two biggest problems facing society, governments and the Catholic Church.
Italian employers and unions said the fresh data showed the shaky and squabbling right-left coalition government must hasten measures to boost job creation.
"The crisis is getting worse," said employers' federation Confindustria.
Italy's biggest union, CGIL, said, "now more than ever, all generations are tackling an unprecedented employment crisis which the government simply has to do something about.
"We will have a bigger 'lost generation' of young people, a spike in the brain drain, and families continuing to drop below the bread line," it said.