Italy Aug jobless rate falls to 12.3 percent, but youth unemployment hits new record at 44.2 percent

ROME, Sept 30 (Reuters) - Italy's unemployment rate fell in August to 12.3 percent from 12.6 percent in July but joblessness among young people hit a new record above 44 percent, national statistics bureau ISTAT reported on Tuesday.

ISTAT said a net 32,000 jobs were created in August from July and employment was broadly stable from a year earlier.

The jobless rate has oscillated between 12.0 percent and 12.7 percent since March last year and in August it fell back to the same level registered in June.

The data was below the median forecast in a Reuters survey of 12 analysts which had pointed to a stable 12.6 percent reading.

Youth unemployment, measuring job-seekers between 15 and 24 years old, jumped a full percentage point in August to 44.2 percent from 43.2 percent to hit its highest level since the statistical series began in 1977.

Prime Minister Matteo Renzi is currently working on labour reform proposals aimed at cutting what he calls the "unacceptable" levels of unemployment, especially among the young.

Italy's overall employment rate, one of the lowest in the euro zone, edged up in August to 55.7 percent from 55.6 percent.


((Reporting by Gavin Jones) )

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