Italian unemployment has fallen back to 11.4 per cent, having risen in June, although the message about an improving jobs market doesn’t quite seem to be filtering through to consumers yet, who are increasingly concerned over their employment prospects.

The jobless rate has fallen to 11.4 per cent for July from 11.6 per cent the previous month, exceeding economists’ expectations that the rate would remain at 11.6 per cent. Unemployment had edged up again in June, having also stood at 11.4 per cent in May.

Italy, which is struggling to sustain its recovery from a bruising triple dip recession, has one of the higher unemployment rates in the European Union, behind Greece, Spain, Croatia and Cyrpus (see table below, covering June’s numbers, from Eurostat).

The latest unemployment data will be a welcome boost to prime minister Matteo Renzi’s government after GDP figures for the second quarter showed Italy’s economic recovery ground to a halt between April and June.

They may also provide some reassurance to Italian consumers after a confidence survey published on Monday showed an increase in concerns over unemployment.

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