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Italy unemployment drops to 5-year low of 10.9 pct
Last Updated: 2017-09-13 16:22 | Xinhua
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Italian unemployment dropped 0.6 percent to 10.9 percent in July over the same period last year, national statistics bureau ISTAT reported Tuesday.

This is the lowest unemployment rate since 2012, according to Prime Minister Paolo Gentiloni, who credited the government's Jobs Act labor reform for the phenomenon.

"Unemployment at 2012 lows. Good results from Jobs Act and recovery. Still a lot to do but encouraging trend," Gentiloni tweeted.

In its report on the labor market released Tuesday, ISTAT reported that 78,000 new jobs were created in the second quarter (up 0.3 percent over the previous quarter).

There were 149,000 new hires (up 0.9 percent) in the period, of which eight in 10 were on temporary contracts.

Employment grew by 59,000 jobs, or 0.3 percent, in July with respect to June, and by 0.7 percent or an estimated 153,000 new jobs in the second quarter over the same period last year, according to ISTAT.

The statistics agency said the new jobs data come amid positive second-quarter GDP growth figures of 0.4 percent on the previous quarter and of 1.5 percent on a yearly basis, against 0.6 percent and 2.2 percent in the eurozone as a whole.

Hours worked increased by 0.5 percent quarter-on-quarter and by 1.4 percent on a yearly basis, which means that Italy's ongoing economic recovery is hand-in-hand with "employment intensity", according to ISTAT.

Italy has been lagging behind most of the rest of the EU in terms of economic recovery, and unemployment is among the key issues for Italian voters ahead of the next general election likely to be held in spring 2018.

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