The Italian National Statistics Office, Istat, on Thursday showed more than half a million jobs had been lost in Italy since the outbreak of the novel coronavirus.
According to Istat, in May, the number of people in employment fell to 22.8 million, the lowest figure in nearly four years and down by 538,000 compared to February.
The novel coronavirus pandemic struck Italy in the second half of February.
To date, the country has reported nearly 241,000 infections and almost 35,000 deaths from Covid-19.
Istat also said the May unemployment rate stood at 7.8 per cent, up from 6.6 per cent in April.
The figure is relatively low, partly because of a major drop in the number of people actively looking for jobs, “inactives” who are excluded from job-seekers’ statistics.
“The ranks of the “inactives” have risen by almost 900,000 between February and May, to 14.289 million,” Istat said.
However, unemployment figures were also less dramatic than what could be expected because people temporarily out of work, but covered by state-funded furlough schemes, were also not counted.
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