By Xavier Fontdegloria


Italy's unemployment rate increased in May as laid off workers resumed job-seeking after two months of a strict lockdown to contain the coronavirus oubtreak.

The country's unemployment rate, which includes active job-seekers, was 7.8% in May, up from the upwardly revised 6.6% reading in April, data from Italy's statistic agency Istat showed Thursday.

The reading is in line with economists' expectations polled by FactSet, who predicted the unemployment rate would rise to 7.7%.

In May, the number of unemployed grew by 307,000. There was a 229,000 reduction in the number of inactive people, those who don't work or don't look for a job.

This group had expanded significantly during April and May, as laid-off workers paused looking for jobs amid the lockdown.

However, May still registered an employment decline of 84,000.

"In May, monthly data on the labor market describe a different evolution compared to that of the previous months: compared to March and April, the decrease in employment is more contained, the number of unemployed rises significantly following the easing of the restrictions and a substantial recovery in hours worked is observed," Istat said.


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(END) Dow Jones Newswires

July 02, 2020 05:09 ET (09:09 GMT)

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