ROME, Dec 2 (Reuters) – Italy’s unemployment rate rose unexpectedly to 9.4% in October from 9.2% in September, data showed on Thursday, due to more people looking for work as the economy recovers.
A Reuters survey of eight analysts had forecast an October jobless rate of 9.1%.
Some 35,000 jobs were created in October, but this was insufficient to match the growing number of jobseekers which rose by 51,000 during the month, the data from national statistics bureau ISTAT showed.
The unemployment rate of 9.4% was the highest since June.
In the three months to October, employment was up by 42,000, or 0.2%, compared with the May-to-July period, ISTAT said.
Compared with a year ago, employment in October was up by 390,000, the statistics institute said, but the labour market has still not regained all the jobs lost during the COVID-19 crisis.
The employment level in October was still down by almost 200,000 compared with February 2020, when Italy recorded its first coronavirus deaths.
In October, the youth unemployment rate, measuring job-seekers between 15 and 24 years old, dipped to 28.2% from 29.6% the month before.
Italy’s overall employment rate, one of the lowest in the euro zone, edged up in October to 58.6% from 58.5% in September.
Highlighting the devastating impact of the coronavirus on the economy, Italy’s gross domestic product shrank by 8.9% last year, its steepest post-war recession.