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Youth unemployment in Italy - Statistics & Facts

The unemployment rate in Italy is around 9.3 percent, one of the highest in the European Union. After the financial crises of 2008, the unemployment in Italy started rising significantly. Nevertheless, 2019 represented a positive year for Italian employment figures: the unemployment rates kept decreasing, also positively impacting the youngest workers. On the other hand, numbers for the youth unemployment rate in Italy are still very high compared to other EU countries. In addition, the outbreak of COVID-19 hit an already weak job market. The impact of the pandemic could be visible mostly in 2021, with an increase in the unemployment figures by about two percentage points.

Youth unemployment in Italy is particularly high among the population with a low education. Among people aged between 25 and 34 years, about half of the unemployed individuals did not finish high school. However, a higher education does not guarantee a job: roughly 11 percent of Italy's university graduates could not find a job in 2020. 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 about 13 percent of all Italian doctoral graduates moved abroad. This 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 around 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 a bit different nationwide. An aspect which influences the unemployment figures is the penetration of the informal economy, including untaxed workers, which is not reflected in the official data. Additionally, 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.

Interesting statistics

In the following 5 chapters, you will quickly find the 25 most important statistics relating to "Youth unemployment in Italy".


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