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Italian joblessness in May hit a new high of 12.2 per cent, the highest level since records began in 1977, according to official figures from the Italian Institute of Statistics, reports Il Sole 24 Ore.

However, youth unemployment fell to 38.5 per cent, down 1.3 per cent from April, meaning that 647,000 under 25s were looking for a job. This represents 10.7 per cent of the country’s 15 to 24-year-old population.

Europe experienced a similar trend with average unemployment reaching a record 12.1 per cent, up from 12 per cent in April. This means there are now 19.2 million jobseekers across the Eurozone, with some 67,000 people becoming unemployed in May alone, according to Eurostat data.