IT: Unemployment Rate

Thu Dec 07 03:00:00 CST 2017

Consensus Actual Previous
Level 11.2% 11.2% 11.2%

The number of people out of work was essentially unchanged at 2.909 million last quarter. This put the unemployment rate at 11.2 percent, also in line with its second quarter reading and in line with market expectations.

The monthly data for October already released showed the jobless rate steady at September's 11.1 percent, equalling its lowest mark since September 2012. However, while this implies a 0.6 percentage point fall on the year, the bulk of the decline took place at the start of 2017 and the recent stagnation does not bode well for consumer spending.

The unemployment rate measures the number of unemployed as a percentage of the labour 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.