How bad is unemployment in Italy? 85,000 apply for 30 bank jobs

Tuesday, July 4th, 2017 - Jobs

Nick Squires

Italy’s chronic unemployment problem has been thrown into sharp relief after 85,000 people applied for 30 jobs at a bank – nearly 3,000 candidates for each post.

With youth unemployment close to 40 per cent and the overall level at 11 per cent, steady jobs are in great demand. But managers at the Bank of Italy were still astounded by the huge number of people who contacted them.

The 30 junior jobs come with an annual salary of euros 28,000 ($41,000). The work is not glamorous – one duty is feeding cash into machines that can distinguish bank notes that are counterfeit or so worn out they should no longer be in circulation.

The Bank of Italy whittled down the applicants to a short-list of 8,000, all of them first-class graduates with a solid academic record behind them.

They will have to sit a gruelling examination in which they will be tested on statistics, mathematics, economics and English, as well as an oral exam. The lucky few will take up their new jobs next year.

The high level of interest was a reflection of the state of the economy but also of the Italian obsession with securing “un posto fisso” – a permanent job. Rigid labour laws mean that once an employee is hired, it is hard for a company to get rid of them, no matter how incompetent they might be.

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