By Xavier Fontdegloria 

Italy's unemployment rate fell significantly in April as laid-off workers refrained from looking for jobs amid a strict lockdown to contain the coronavirus.

The country's unemployment rate was at 6.3% in April, sharply down from the 8.4% reading in March, data from Italy's statistic agency Istat showed Wednesday. This is the lowest figure since November 2007.

Economists polled by FactSet had expected the unemployment rate to rise to 9.5%.

The lower unemployment rate, however, does not reflect current labor-market conditions in the country because it includes only active job seekers. Other indicators signal significant job losses and the decrease of activity, with economy hard hit by the coronavirus pandemic.

In April, the employment rate fell by 0.7 percentage points compared with March to 57.9%. In absolute terms, it is a decline of 274,000 jobs.

The inactivity rate, an indicator which measures the number of people who don't work or don't look for a job, increased by 2.0 percentage points to 38.1%. In April, the number of inactive people increased by 746,000.

"The unemployment rate in just two months dropped by almost three percentage points, while that of inactivity increased in a similar way," Istat said, suggesting laid-off workers stopped looking for jobs during these two months of lockdown.


Write to Xavier Fontdegloria at


(END) Dow Jones Newswires

June 03, 2020 05:48 ET (09:48 GMT)

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