Unemployment in Italy - Statistics & Facts

Italy is third in unemployed population numbers among European Union countries. The Italian unemployment rate is 9.9 percent. This figure has been decreasing steadily, registering the lowest rate of the last seven years in 2019. A look at more specific data on unemployment shows that the youngest population represents the most affected group, whereas people aged up to 64 years made up the lowest share of unemployed individuals. However, according to a recent forecast, the unemployment rate in Italy could reach 11.2 percent in 2020 due to the impact of the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic. It is then expected to decrease in the following year.

Unemployment in Italy is characterized by relevant regional disparities. All eight southern regions have the highest unemployment rates in the country. In particular, in Calabria, Sicily, and Campania the rates reach about 20 percent each. On the other hand, northern regions perform better in terms of employment. Trentino-South Tyrol records a share of 3.9 percent, the lowest in the country. In fact, the unemployment rates in Trentino-South Tyrol as well as in further north Italian regions are much lower than the European Union average, whereas the rates in the southern regions are significantly higher than EU figures.

Data on the employment situation of young people reveal a discouraging trend. The youth unemployment rate in Italy is also the third highest in the European Union. Even if the figures have been decreasing in the last years, almost 30 percent of young Italians are unemployed. Also in this case, southern regions hold a negative record. In Sicily, Calabria, and Campania the youth unemployment rates range from 46 percent to 51 percent. Similarly to the general unemployment rates, Trentino-South Tyrol shows the best conditions in the country. Unemployment affects mostly young people with a low education. Nevertheless, a high share of unemployed Italians hold a university degree.

Eventually, important disparities in employment figures can be observed in data broken down by gender. The unemployment rate among women in Italy is almost two percentage points higher than among men. Additionally, the share of females who are economically inactive is very high: almost half of Italian women do not take part in the Italian labor market, neither as employed nor as unemployed. Also, the percentage of young people who neither work nor study is higher among females than among males. Once again, the southern regions show the highest shares. For instance, in Sicily, 40 percent of women do not study or work.

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Employment in Italy

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Important key figures

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Regional disparities

Youth unemployment

Gender disparities

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