Italy jobless rate hits high of 13 percent

Italy jobless rate hits high of 13 percent
Italy's unemployment rate has edged up from 12.9 percent in January. Unemployment photo: Shutterstock
The unemployment rate in Italy rose to a record 13.0 percent in February, an initial official estimate showed on Tuesday.

The rate edged up from 12.9 percent in January, and over 12 months rose by 1.1 percentage points, the statistics institute Istat said.

The new figures continue a negative trend which has seen unemployment at its highest point since records began in 1977.

Last year the number of employed people in Italy fell by 478,000, making it the worst year since the economic crisis began in 2008, according to Istat.

Prime Minister Matteo Renzi put job creation at the top of his agenda when taking office in February, in a bid to bring down what is one of Europe's highest unemployment rates.

Italy has the eigth-highest jobless rate out of the 28 EU countries, falling behind the 10.6 percent average. 

In the EU Greece tops the chart with a jobless rate of 27.5 percent, closely followed by Spain's 25.6 percent.

SEE ALSO: Italian workers flock to UK in record numbers

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