Italy Unemployment Rises as More People Seek Jobs, Workers Cut

(Bloomberg) -- Italy's jobless rate rose higher than estimated as 81,000 more people sought employment and companies trimmed their workforces.

Unemployment hit 10.1 percent in September after a revised 9.8 percent the month before. That is far above the euro-area rate, which probably held steady at 8.1 percent last month.

Italy's populist government is counting on its expansive economic program to help trim the unemployment rate to 9.8 percent next year, before it drops to 8.6 percent in 2021.

“Italy's budget law will provide tranquility and stability to Italy and is based on producing more jobs,” Deputy Premier Matteo Salvini said last week after the plan was rejected by the European Union.

There were about 34,000 fewer people employed in September, in addition to those looking for a job. There were 77,000 fewer permanent workers, while the number on fixed-term contracts rose by 27,000. Youth unemployment rose to 31.6 percent from 31.3 percent.

Still after stalling in the third quarter, Italy's economy may find it difficult to produce the kind of growth the government envisions.

The unemployment rate reported by statistics agency Istat on Wednesday was above the 9.9 percent median of 12 estimates in a Bloomberg survey.

Istat originally reported an unemployment rate of 9.7 percent in August.

©2018 Bloomberg L.P.