Rome

Young workers generate 17.2% of Italy's GDP

675,000 companies headed by under 35-year-olds, up 10% in 2012

Young workers generate 17.2% of Italy's GDP

(see related story on unemployment) Rome, June 13 - Italy's 3.8 million employed young people contributed more than 242 billion euros to the country's gross domestic product (GDP) in 2012, or 17.2% of the total, according to a report released on Thursday. The contribution made by workers under 35 was equivalent to Italy's manufacturing sector, reported Unioncamere, the association that brings together the nation's chambers of commerce. A significant amount of economic activity was generated by the 675,000 companies headed by young entrepreneurs, a number that increased by 70,000 businesses, or 10%, in 2012 compared to the previous year. Roughly a third of the new businesses made artisanal products. Women headed 27.8% of the total. Unioncamere said young people were waiting for market opportunities to open another 100,000 potential businesses. ''We must make young people become the leading players of a new model of development that is sustainable and (environmentally) compatible,'' Unioncamere President Ferruccio Dardanello told chamber of commerce chiefs from all over Italy, gathered in Rome for Unioncamere's 137th general assembly. ''Reaching the European average level of employment is an objective that we can and must take,'' declared Dardanello.

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