Italian unemployment falls unexpectedly

Italian unemployment fell unexpectedly in July, according to official figures.

Istat reported this morning that unemployment fell to 12.0 per cent in July from 12.1 per cent the month before. Analysts had expected to see an increase to 12.2 per cent. Year-on-year, however, unemployment was up from 11.8 per cent.

In absolute values, unemployment fell by 10,000 from June 2013, but increased by 325,000 from the year before to stand at 3.076m.

By comparison, the employment rate in July was flat on the month before at 55.9 per cent, with the number of people in employment rising by 1,000 month-on-month, but falling by 433,000 year-on-year to 22.5m.

The inactivity rate for people aged 15-64 was 36.4 per cent, down from 36.5 per cent in June 2013, but up from 36.1 per cent in July 2012.