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Unemployment 9.9% post-2012 low

unemployment fell to 9.9% in May, 0.2 percentage points lower than April and the lowest since February 2012, ISTAT said Monday. It is the first time in more than seven years that the unemployment rate has fallen to below double figures.

Youth unemployment fell 0.7 percentage points to 30.5%.

The employment rate rose to 59.0%, its highest since records began in 1977.

The number of those in employment reached 23.387 million units.

In May, after the "substantial stability" in April, the number of employed persons rose by 67,000 units, or 0.3%.

The rise was concentrated among men, up 66,999, and the over-50s, up 88,000.

Deputy Premier, Interior Minister and League party leader Matteo Salvini hailed the figures saying "unemployment below 10% for the first time in years, Italian workers growing and at a record high since 1977. Onward like this, cutting taxes for businessmen, workers and families is a moral duty.

The other deputy premier, Industry and Labour Minister and 5-Star Movement (M5S) leader Luigi Di Maio, said the figures "tell us that today is really a beautiful day.

"After being attacked for months by the opposition parties (and their media of reference), who accused me of everything under the sun, ridiculing the dignity decree (they said it would not be any use!), yet again I am happy to be able to give the lie to these chatterers with facts".

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