Italy's national statistics institute Istat said on Tuesday that unemployment in the country has reached 13 percent in February, with more than 3.3 million citizens without jobs.
Unemployment of youth aged between 15 and 24 rose to 42.3 percent in the same month, 3.6 percent higher than the rate at the same time last year, Istat said. Nearly 700,000 young people were without a job.
The new unemployment rate was defined by Italian Prime Minister Matteo Renzi as "shocking," according to local reports.
"In one year Italy has lost 1,000 jobs per day," he was quoted as saying, adding that Istat's data "unfortunately are in line with what has been happening in Italy for several months."
Renzi, who was sworn-in in February, has frequently stressed that the fight against unemployment will be a priority of his policies to revive the Italian economy.
"The job market receipt adopted in these years in Italy was wrong as it only produced bureaucracy," he told a press conference in London after meeting British Prime Minister David Cameron on Tuesday.
Days ago, the Renzi coalition government adopted a decree aimed at turning around unemployment rates through simplifying hiring procedures and easing bureaucracy.
"In Italy there are some 2,100 articles of law regulating the labor market, therefore it is normal that disputes often occur. We aim at having only 50-60, both in Italian and English, to set clear rules for investors who must be free to hire workers," Renzi told the press conference.
Italy's longest postwar recession officially ended at the end of 2013, but economic indicators were suggesting a slow recovery for the crisis-plagued economy.