Provisional figures released by Italy’s statistics bureau ISTAT put unemployment in Italy at 13% in February 2013. This equates to a 1.1% increase over last year’s figure.
3.307 million Italians are now without jobs – this highest level since ISTAT began monitoring employment data in 1977.
Youth unemployment levels also remain high, with 42.3% of Italy’s 15 to 24 year olds, 678,000, without work. This figure is expected to rise.
Italy is awaiting reforms to its employment laws and it is hoped that these will help create new jobs. However, demand in Italy is also at record low levels. This means businesses in Italy catering primarily for the Italian market are reluctant to take on new staff. High tax levels compound the problem and further dissuade businesses to employ more staff.
Italy’s Prime Minister Renzi said he was shocked by the figures. While there are some signs of recovery in Italy, Mr Renzi believes the nation still needs to forge ahead with its reform plans.