Employment among working-age foreigners in Italy stands at 61.9 percent, a notch above the local rate of 59.5 percent, the EU statistics agency Eurostat said.
Meanwhile, Europeans are more successful at finding work in Italy than other foreigners. The employment rate among EU citizens aged 20-64 was 65.8 percent in 2013, compared to 60.1 percent for other immigrants.
The Italy findings go against the European norm, as in the vast majority of EU countries locals are more likely to be employed than foreigners.
Across the EU’s 28 countries, 68.9 percent of locals are employed compared to 61.9 percent of foreigners. Only Cyprus, the Czech Republic, Lithuania and Italy bucked this trend.
Overall, Europeans have a greater chance of finding work than other nationals, with 70.9 percent of EU citizens working abroad in other member states. This compares to 56.1 percent of immigrants from non-European countries.
While the Italy findings suggest that foreigners are more successful jobseekers than their hosts, the statistics may have been affected by country-specific factors.
Due to the precarious job market in Italy, a high number of locals work without formal contracts and would therefore not feature in the official statistics. Additionally, people born to immigrant parents in Italy are classed as foreigners unless they successfully obtain citizenship as adults.