August 30, 2019 / 8:04 AM / 21 days ago

Italy unemployment rate edges up to 9.9% in July as 18,000 jobs lost

ROME (Reuters) - Italy’s unemployment rate edged up to 9.9% in July after an upward revision to the previous month’s data, as some 18,000 jobs were lost, national statistics bureau ISTAT reported on Friday.

ISTAT revised up the jobless rate for June to 9.8% from a previously reported 9.7%.

July’s data halts the downward trend in the unemployment rate in place since October last year, when it stood at 10.7%.

Nonetheless, in the May-to-July period some 101,000 jobs were created compared with the previous three months, ISTAT said.

Of these, 84,000 were permanent contracts.

One of the first measures of the government which took office in June last year was to pass measures aimed at curbing temporary hires and encouraging open-ended contracts.

The so-called “dignity decree” took full effect in November.

That government, made up of the anti-establishment 5-Star Movement and the hard-right League collapsed this month and looks likely to be replaced by coalition of 5-Star and the centrist Democratic Party.

In July, the youth unemployment rate, measuring job-seekers between 15 and 24 years old, rose to 28.9% from 28.1%.

Italy’s overall employment rate, one of the lowest in the euro zone, slipped in July to 59.1% from 59.2% in June.

June’s reading was the highest level since ISTAT’s current series began in 1977.

Reporting by Gavin Jones

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