Italy's south risks becoming an 'industrial desert'

Poorer regions shedding jobs, losing young people

Italy's south risks becoming an 'industrial desert'

(ANSA) - Rome, September 26 - Southern Italy is shedding jobs and seeing young people migrate elsewhere at an alarming rate, according to a report released Wednesday. The unemployment rate is above 25% in parts of the south as jobs, according to the 2012 annual report of Svimez, an association for the development of southern Italy. It found that from 2007 to 2011, Italy's south lost 147,000 jobs in the industrial sector, roughly triple the national average of 5.5% for jobs lost during that period. According to Svimez, more than 1,350,000 people migrated out of the south in the decade beginning in 2000, creating a kind of "industrial desert". At the same time, gross domestic product per capita in the south, which was 56.1% of that in the north at the beginning of the decade, crept up to 57.7% by 2010. At this rate, it would take about 400 years "to close the gap that separates the South from the North," Svimez says in the report. The association called for a dramatic changes to promote economic, environmental and urban development in southern Italy. photo: demonstrators at a Naples rally to protest against unemployment.

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