The labour market continued to improve in the third quarter. A jobless rate of 11.7 percent was a couple of ticks below expectations and followed a downwardly revised 12.3 percent print in the previous period.
The latest fall means that the rate is now some 1.2 points beneath its mark a year ago and, with the monthly survey showing a further drop to 11.5 percent in October, the fourth quarter should see further good news. Much will depend upon the recovery in economic growth that began in the first quarter continuing through 2016.
The unemployment rate measures the number of unemployed as a percentage of the labor force. In addition to the quarterly data, a less detailed monthly report is also available.
Unemployment data are published on a quarterly basis and are very old by the time they are released (they are published about 11 weeks after the end of the reference quarter). The data are published both by the number of persons out of work and by the unemployment rate. The unemployment rate is obtained from the ratio between persons seeking employment and the total labor force as measured by the labor force survey (LFS). Italy uses the International Labour Organisation criteria as adopted by Eurostat to compile the data.
Despite the delay in publication of these data, investors can sense the degree of tightness in the job market. If labor markets are tight, investors will be alert to possible inflationary pressures that could exist. If wage inflation threatens, it's a good bet that interest rates will rise; bond and stock prices will fall.
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