World Economy

44% Italian Youth Jobless

44% Italian Youth Jobless44% Italian Youth Jobless

Youth unemployment has increased to 44.2% in June, according to the Italian national statistics office. It’s the highest level since 1977 and about twice the eurozone average. The overall unemployment also increased in June, according to the data published Friday.

“In June 2015, 22.29 million persons were employed, -0.1% with respect to May 2015. Unemployed were 3.233 million, +1.7% over the previous month,” said the report.

The average unemployment rate across the EU stood at 9.6% in June, RT reported.

The upsetting numbers come as the Italian Prime Minister Matteo Renzi is pursuing economic reforms that the government hopes will make the eurozone’s third largest economy dominant in Europe and the world within 20-30 years.

“No matter how the political discussion develops in the country, I believe that there’s a bright future ahead for Italy. In 20-30 years, Italy will become a leader in Europe and the world,” Renzi said at the annual conference of Italian ambassadors in Rome on Tuesday.

Last week, Eurostat, the statistical office of the European Union reported that the Italian government debt to GDP ratio reached 135.1% in the first quarter of the year, the second biggest in the eurozone after Greece (168.8%). The EU Stability and Growth Pact allows only 60% debt to GDP ratio.

In July, the Italian central bank said the national debt had increased by €83.3 billion ($91.7 billion) by May 2015, reaching a record-high €2.21 trillion. The bank linked the growing debt to a fall in the euro exchange rate, changes in the sovereign bond market and bigger money supply.