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Youth unemployment in Italy - Statistics & Facts

The unemployment rate in Italy was 9.9 percent in 2019, one of the highest in the European Union. After the financial crises of 2008, unemployment in Italy started rising significantly. However, 2019 also represented a positive year for Italian employment figures: the unemployment rates kept decreasing, also positively impacting the youngest workers. At the same time, numbers for the youth unemployment rate in Italy are still very high compared to other EU countries. In 2019, 28.9 percent of Italians aged 15 to 24 years were unemployed.

Youth unemployment in Italy is particularly high among the population with a low education. Necessarily, data on an older age group have to be analyzed when considering higher education. Among people aged between 25 and 34 years, about half of the unemployed individuals did not finish high school. Roughly 12 percent of university graduates could not find a job. It does not come as a surprise that one out of three Italians who emigrate holds a university degree. Large percentages of Italian emigrants with a tertiary education can be found among doctoral graduates. Recent data reveal that 13.2 percent of all Italian doctoral graduates moved abroad. More specifically, the share is particularly high among doctorates in natural sciences, mathematics, and engineering.

Other factors to take into account are regional disparities. In three south Italian regions - Calabria, Sicily, and Campania - the youth unemployment rate is above 50 percent. In contrast, the regions in which the rates are the lowest are located in the north of the country. The actual percentages might be even higher nationwide. Indeed, the data depict the share of individuals who were actively seeking work. Young people in Italy are discouraged and stop searching for a job. Thus, the share of the economically inactive population is very high, much higher among women than among men. A recent survey shows that the amount of people who think that going abroad represents the only hope for the youth has been rising.

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Youth unemployment in Italy

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