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 and Sicily 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 around four 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, roughly 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.