Italian unemployment rate drops in July
Italy’s unemployment rate dropped again in July to 8.4 per cent from 8.5 per cent in June, the national statistics agency ISTAT said in a preliminary estimate published yesterday.
The unemployment rate had dropped for the first time this year in June to 8.5 per cent, after remaining stable at 8.6 per cent for three months.
ISTAT said the number of people seeking work was 2.105 million, down by 0.7 percent from the total in June.
But compared to July 2009, when the unemployment rate was of 7.9 per cent, the ranks of the unemployed had grown by 6.1 per cent.
Italy was able to keep unemployment under control until mid-2009 thanks to a temporary layoff mechanism which allows companies to halt operations for months at a time if business is slow, with workers covered by public unemployment insurance.
Until the first quarter of 2010 however, the ranks of job-seekers had grown, rising to more than two million in October for the first time since 2004.
Italy’s unemployment rate is nevertheless lower than that of the 16-nation eurozone, which remained at a record 10 per cent in July for the fifth month running.