Italy May unemployment rate falls as fewer seek jobs but 49,000 jobs lost a month

ROME, June 30 (Reuters) – Italy’s unemployment rate fell to 8.1% in May from 8.3% in April, hitting its lowest level in two years, but the fall was due to people withdrawing from the labor market, as 49,000 jobs were lost in the month, data showed.

A Reuters poll of analysts had forecast an 8.4% unemployment rate for May. The national statistics office ISTAT corrected the April rate slightly downwards from the originally reported 8.4%.

Despite the recent sharp drop in employment, employment rose by 136,000, or 0.6%, in the three months to May compared to the December-February period, according to ISTAT.

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The unemployment rate of 8.1% in May was the lowest since April 2020, at the height of the first wave of the COVID-19 crisis in Italy. This decline in job seekers was also due to people withdrawing from the labor market because employment was not available.

Compared to May 2021, employment increased by around 463,000 or 2.1% according to ISTAT.

More than half of the jobs created last year were temporary contracts. The number of temporary workers in Italy is now over 3.17 million, the highest number since 1977, the statistics office said.

In May, the youth unemployment rate, measured in jobseekers aged 15-24, fell to 20.5% from 22.6% in the previous month.

Italy’s overall employment rate, one of the lowest in the euro zone, fell to 59.8% in May from 59.9% in April.

Italy’s economic outlook has clouded over the fallout from the Russian invasion of Ukraine, and the economy grew just 0.1% in the first quarter compared to the previous three months.

Prime Minister Mario Draghi’s government revised Italy’s full-year gross domestic product forecast down to 3.1% in April from 4.7% last September.

The latest forecast is considered optimistic by most independent bodies.

ISTAT provided the following data:


UNEMPLOYMENT RATE 8.1 8.3r 8.3r 8.5r

YOUTH UNEMPLOYMENT RATE (15-24) 20.5 22.6r 24.1r 23.7r

EMPLOYMENT RATE (15-64) 59.8 59.9 59.9 59.6


(Reported by Gavin Jones)(([email protected]))

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