Italy’s jobless rate higher, adds to economic gloom

Italy’s jobless rate higher, adds to economic gloom

MilanItaly’s jobless rate rose in September, official data showed Wednesday, adding to the economic gloom after poor growth figures and with the government locked in a budget stand-off with Brussels.

The unemployment rate jumped 0.3 percentage points to hit 10.1 percent, well above the eurozone average which stood at 8.1 percent in August.

Among the key 15-24 demographic segment, the jobless rate rose 0.2 percent to 31.6 percent, the national institute of statistics (ISTAT) said, compared to the eurozone average of 16.6 percent.

Data on Tuesday showed Italy’s economy stalled in the third quarter, upping the pressure on the country’s populist government which has based its big-spending budget plan on an optimistic outlook for growth.

Brussels has rejected the plan, in an unprecedented EU first, and told the government it must redo the figures to meet EU deficit and debt limits.

Rome insists it will not change the budget, saying the Italian people need a break from years of austerity.