Unemployment rate in crisis-hit Italy has hit a new record high with 2.8 million people without a job, national statistics institute Istat said on Friday.
The number of those out of work rose 0.3 percent to 11.1 percent in October over September, the highest since monthly records began in January 2004, and 2.3 percent on yearly basis.
Youth unemployment was especially affected reaching 36.5 percent, with some 639,000 people aged 15 to 24 looking for jobs, Istat said.
Meanwhile, the number of short-term and casual workers also increased to 2.8 million last month, while 3.8 million were part-time workers mainly because they could not find long-term jobs.
According to leading labor union CGIL, unemployment could get even worse. "2013 will be even worse than 2012, which has already been the hardest year of the economic crisis," CGIL Secretary-General Susanna Camusso was quoted as saying by local media.
The Economy Minister Vittorio Grilli said the negative figure was "expected" in times of recession. "If the economy slows down, we cannot think that employment will improve, we also expect a worsening in 2013," he said.
The emergency government of unelected technocrats led by Prime Minister Mario Monti has introduced a series of structural measures aimed at stimulating growth of the Italian stagnant economy in the medium and long-term.
However, according to local analysts, the austerity moves mainly made of tax hikes and welfare cuts have deepened the recession and contributed to rising unemployment.
On Friday, Istat said prices of most frequently bought items like food and fuel rose an annual 3.5 percent in November, while annual inflation dropped to 2.5 percent from 2.6 percent in October, largely due to lower petrol prices.
Industrial producer prices declined 0.3 percent in October from September but increased 2.3 percent over October of the last year, the statistics agency said.