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Press release

Employment and unemployment (provisional estimates)

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In December 2020 the number of employed persons returned to decline, whereas an increase was recorded for both inactive and unemployed people.

On a monthly basis, the decrease of employment (-0.4%, -101 thousand) concerned women and all age classes, with the exception of over50 people, while men were substantially stable. Overall, the employment rate dropped to 58.0% (-0.2 p.p.).

In the last month, the number of unemployed people returned to grow (+1.5%, +34 thousand) and the increase was generalized for both genders and all ages: only among people aged 15-24 years a decrease was registered. The unemployment rate rose to 9.0% (+0.2 p.p.) and the youth rate to 29.7% (+0.3 p.p.).

In December the growth of inactive people aged 15-64 (+0.3%, +42 thousand) was the effect of a rise for women (+0.7%, +62 thousand) not fully balanced by the decrease among men (-0.4%, -20 thousand). The inactivity rate rose to 36.1% (+0.1 p.p.).

In the period October-December 2020, with respect to the previous quarter (July-September 2020), employment grew (+0.2%, +53 thousand) for both genders.

In the last three months, a decline was registered in the number of unemployed persons (-5.6%, -137 thousand) whereas inactive people aged 15-64 years rose (+0.1%, +17 thousand).

Compared to December 2019, employment showed a decrease in terms of figures (-1.9%, -444 thousand) and rate (-0.9 percentage points).

On a yearly basis, the drop of employed people was accompanied by a fall of unemployed persons (-8.9%, -222 thousand) while inactive people aged 15-64 rose (+3.6%, +482 thousand).

From 1 January 2021, the new Labor Force survey was started, which transposes Regulation (Eu) 2019/1700. According to the Regulation, the release of the January 2021 data is postponed to 6 April, simultaneously to the February data release. Istat will soon make more detailed information available.

Reference period: December 2020

Date of Issue: 01 February 2021

Next release: 6 April 2021



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