After Malta, Italy has the lowest rates of employment for women in the European Union. Some 48.9 percent of women in Italy are currently unemployed. Exacerbating the situation, one out of five young people is unemployed. Both groups say they have stopped looking for work. Experts say the economic downturn and slow growth are the main reasons for their jobless state.
The numbers were released by Istat in the 2010 report, Noi Italia, an annual survey of the demographic and economic, cultural and social state of Italy.
More than two million young adults are neither working nor studying. Data from 2009 shows that 21.2 percent are ages 15 to 29, a higher number than elsewhere in the European Union.