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Italian unemployment hits new record of 12.7%

41.6% of under-25s are out of work

08 January, 17:37
Italian unemployment hits new record of 12.7% (By Emily Backus) (ANSA) - Rome, January 8 - Unemployment in Italy touched new record highs in November, Italian statistical agency Istat said Wednesday in a report that unveiled mounting hardship for Italians even as the economy showed tentative signs of economic recovery after its longest recession in over two decades.

Overall unemployment reached 12.7% while youth unemployment hit 41.6%. Both figures are the highest on record since the current calculation method began in 1977.

The number of employed youths aged 15 to 24 fell 12.4% in one year to 924,000. Istat specified that the youth unemployment rate regards youths aged 15-24 who are considered to be on the job market as they are actively seeking work . The rate of young people in Italy not on the job market - including students - was 73.7%, while unemployment affects 11% of the entire youth population. The overall employment rate for Italy was 55.4%, while the general inactivity rate was 36.4%.

The ranks of the jobless reached 3.25 million people, up 12.1% compared to November 2012.

Since the onset of the global financial crisis, Italy has lost over a million jobs, Istat said. Between November 2007 and November 2013, 1.1 million jobs were lost, while the number of unemployed people has more than doubled from 1.53 million. Nearly twice as many men lost their jobs compared to women over the six year period and many of the jobs created has rewarded women. All told, men lost 1,165,000 jobs over the period, while women gained 65,000. Job loss continued to affect primarily men last year. The number of jobless men grew 17.2% from November 2012 to November 2013, compared to 6.1% for women.

Meanwhile, requests for unemployment benefits in Italy shot up 32.5% between January and November 2013, the social security agency INPS reported Wednesday. A total of 1,949,570 people sought jobless aid at the agency in the 11-month period. Seventy percent of employed Italians feel threatened that they might lose their jobs, a report conducted by pollster Ixe' for the farmers association Coldiretti found. Job security topped the list of worries among Italians for 2014, Coldiretti said, and the vast majority were not optimistic about Italy's future.

Fifty-one percent expect things to remain the same, while 35% believed they will worsen this year. Fully 53% of respondents said they worried they would not be able to earn enough to support their own families in the future.