Rome, May 30 - President Giorgio Napolitano invoked the Italian Constitution on Thursday in an appeal for the nation's political parties, trade unions and businesses to combat the huge problem of unemployment in recession-hit Italy. Close to three million Italians are unemployed and almost as many again are off the job market even though they are willing to work, in many cases because they have given up hope of finding paid employment. On Wednesday the OECD forecast that unemployment in Italy would rise from 10.6% in 2012 to 11.9% this year and 12.5% in 2014. "We must have a republic that measures up to Article One of the Constitution," Napolitano said, calling on all the social and political groups to join forces in this. Article One of the Constitution states that Italy is a republic "founded on labour". Unemployment is especially serious among young Italians, as it hits almost four out of 10 15-to-25-year-olds on the job market. National statistics agency Istat said last week that 2.25 million 15-to-29-year-olds were not in education, employment or training (NEET) in 2012, 23.9% of the total. "This isn't just an Italian problem," said Napolitano. "The technologies and terms of employment have changed and it was realised very late that unemployment among young people is spreading in the West and in emerging countries. "In Italy we are feeling this acutely and dramatically".