More than one in three young Italians are out of work after the youth unemployment rate hit a record 36.2pc in May. The figure was a rise from 35.3pc in April, and far outpaced the eurozone average of 22.6pc in May.
Unemployment among the under-25s also remained a huge problem in Spain, where more than half of young people are jobless. The rate rose to 52.1pc in May from 51.6pc in April.
Italy and Spain are struggling to battle the eurozone debt crisis which has driven their sovereign borrowing costs to unsustainable levels.
Andrea Broughton, of the Institute for Employment Studies, said: “The greatest concern for EU policymakers remains youth unemployment, which is more than twice the average rate for the whole working population, and is continuing to rise.
EU policymakers and stakeholders are aware of this potential catastrophe of creating a ‘lost generation’, but so far appear powerless to halt the rising figures.”