Surge in the number of jobless foreigners in Italy

Surge in the number of jobless foreigners in Italy
The number of unemployed foreigners has increased signficantly in recent years. Photo: Controluce/AFP
There were 385,000 unemployed foreigners in 2012, the Ministry of Labour said on Monday. The rising number of jobless foreign men has the power to "destabilise the entire foreign community in Italy", the ministry warned.

The unemployment rate among non-Italians reached 14.1 percent, up two percent from the previous year and more than four points higher than the rate among Italians.

“The phenomenon of unemployment among foreigners, in a long period of crisis, is undoubtedly alarming,” the ministry said in its report.

However, the rate for unemployed foreigners is lower than the EU average of 17.8 percent, and well below Spain, where 36.1 percent of foreigners were out of work last year.

Of the 385,000 jobseeking foreigners in Italy, 120,000 were from EU member states while 265,000 were from outside.

The gender balance has changed in recent years; while 2012 saw equal numbers of men and women out of work, in 2008 there were 94,000 women out of work and just 67,000 men.

The rise of unemployed men signals a new phenomenon, which has the power to destabilize the entire foreign community in Italy, the ministry warned.

Beyond the country’s borders, the ministry said unemployment among foreigners “will be a key issue for Europe in the coming years”. 

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