Italy has lost 600,000 jobs in June compared to February -- before the COVID-19 pandemic forced the country into a national lockdown that drove its economy to a halt, according to provisional estimates released by the National Statistics Institute (ISTAT) on Thursday.
Italy's unemployment rate rose to 8.8 per cent (increase by 0.6 percentage points) in June, and youth unemployment jumped to 27.6 per cent (increase by 1.9 percentage points) compared to the previous month, ISTAT said.
"In June 2020, in comparison with the previous month, the decrease in employment and the growth in unemployment continued, though at a slower pace," ISTAT analysts wrote.
On a monthly basis, Italy has lost 46,000 jobs in June compared to May, ISTAT said.
For comparison, 84,000 jobs were lost in May compared to April, and 274,000 jobs were lost in April compared to March, according to earlier ISTAT reports.
Italy experienced a "significant drop" in the employment rate in June this year compared to June 2019, with 752,000 jobs lost in the course of the year, ISTAT said on Thursday.
The COVID-19 pandemic first broke out in Italy in late February, and the national lockdown went into effect on March 10 and lasted until the beginning of May.