World Economy

2.2m Italian Families Jobless

2.2m Italian Families Jobless2.2m Italian Families Jobless

At least 2.2 million families were without job income in 2015, Istat national statistics bureau said in a report out Friday, ANSA reported. Jobless families grew from 9.4% in 2004 to 14.2% last year, with a peak of 24.5% in Italy’s chronically impoverished south, the agency said. That figure stood at 8.2% in the wealthy, industrialized north and at 11.5% in the central regions. The increase also hit younger families the hardest, with joblessness doubling from 6.7% to 13%, Istat said. Consumer prices continue “very weak” and the labor market remains “uncertain” in 2016, Istat added. The agency said first-semester forecasts of weak growth alternating with deflation are “plausible”. Domestic consumption has not balanced out a drop in energy prices, while employment was stable in the first quarter, the agency said. Italy’s welfare and social security system is “among the least efficient” in Europe and second only to Greece’s, it said. “Pension spending compresses the rest of social spending” and thereby increases the risk of poverty, according to its report.