The number of young Italians with jobs fell by more than a million between 2008 and 2011 because of the economic crisis, Italy's national statistics bureau said Saturday.
The figure for workers aged between 15 and 24 who were in jobs tumbled from 7.11 million to 6.05 million, the Istat bureau said. In the year from 2010 it fell by 233,000.
Worst hit were Italians aged between 15 and 24, Istat said, though a separate study by the Bank of Italy showed that many without work benefited from care within the typically close Italian family.
Prime Minister Mario Monti unveiled Wednesday what he called a "historic" labour reform bill, saying it would encourage foreign investors, boost productivity and give jobs to young people.
The package, which has proved to be Monti's most challenging reform plan so far -- with unions fighting him tooth and claw over workers' rights -- aims to modernise the market and is a key to his Grow Italy project to boost growth.
The measures include tackling the problem of precarious jobs by raising payroll taxes on temporary contracts, sharply reducing red tape for employers looking to hire someone for a permanent job, and creating apprenticeships.