Italian unemployment declined slightly to 11.6% for October from 11.7% the previous month and was in line with consensus forecasts.
The employment rate edged lower to 57.2% from 57.3% the previous month and remains well below the Eurozone average.
There was some progress in reducing youth unemployment with the rate declining to 36.4% from 36.8%.
There has, been a small increase in the jobless total since October 2015, although the overall unemployment rate held at 11.6%. Employment has increased by 174,000 over the year, which offers some encouragement, but a decline in the inactivity rate has prevented an overall decline in the unemployment rate and illustrates the serious structural problems within the economy.
In contrast, the Eurozone data recorded an overall decline in the unemployment rate to 9.8% from 10.6% in October 2015, illustrating that the Italian economy has continued to under-perform the Eurozone average.
The high rates of unemployment and difficulties in reducing the total despite very favourable monetary-policy considerations will maintain an underlying lack of confidence in the outlook.
There will also be important concerns that the high level of unemployment and low employment rates will reinforce populist sentiment and increase the risk of a no vote in this weekend’s referendum on constitutional reform.
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