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Press release

Employment and unemployment (provisional estimates)

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In March 2020, in comparison with the previous month, employment slightly decreased and unemployment sharply fell together with a relevant increase of inactivity.

On a monthly basis, the slight reduction of employment (-0.1%, -27 thousand) concerned both men (-0.1%, -9 thousand) and women (-0.2%, -18 thousand), and brought the employment rate to 58.8% (-0.1 p. p.).

In the last month, also the remarkable fall of the unemployed people (-11.1%, -267 thousand) was recorded for both men (-13.4%, -169 thousand) and women (-8.6%, -98 thousand). The unemployment rate dropped to 8.4% (-0.9 percentage points) and the youth rate fell to 28.0% (-1.2 p.p.).

In March the considerable growth of inactive people aged 15-64 (+2.3%, +301 thousand) – three times higher for men (+3.9%, +191 thousand) than for women (+1.3, +110 thousand) – led the inactivity rate to 35.7% (+0.8 percentage points).

With respect to the previous quarter, in the period January – March 2020, employment decreased (-0.4%, 94 thousand) for both men and women.

In the last three months, also the number of unemployed persons decreased (-5.4%, -133 thousand), while a growth among inactive people aged 15-64 years was registered (+1.5%, +192 thousand).

Compared to March 2019, employment showed a decrease in terms of figures (-0.5%, -121 thousand) and rate (-0.2 percentage points).

On a yearly basis, the decrease of employed people was accompanied by a fall of unemployed persons (¬-21.1%, -571 thousand) and a growth of inactive people aged 15-64 (+4.4%, +581 thousand).

The survey process encountered some difficulties caused by the current health emergency, in particular in the data collection phase. Data treatment strategies have contrasted negative statistical effects and allowed for March 2020 data dissemination; however, due to the reduced sample size, the dissemination was not performed at the usual set of breakdowns; furthermore the provisional nature of the estimates presented in this press release has to be stressed; those estimates could be revised on the basis of further analyses in progress and of the progressive extension of the information available (see the Methodological note, page 7).

Reference period: March 2020

Date of Issue: 30 April 2020

Next release: 3 June 2020

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