Rome

Over half a million Italians temporarily laid off

In addition to record 12% unemployed

Over half a million Italians temporarily laid off

Rome, June 21 - Over half a million workers are on benefits in recession-hit Italy after being temporarily laid off by their companies, Italy's biggest trade-union confederation, the left-wing GCIL, said on Friday. The CGIL said 524,000 workers were claiming the CIG benefit for people who have been temporarily laid off. This led to a collective loss of around 1.7 billion euros in salaries for the first five months of the year, it said. The union said almost another half a million more people are on CIG benefits to support their income after having their hours cut by their firms. This is in addition to close to three million people, 12% of the working population, who are unemployed as Italy struggles to emerge from its longest recession in over 20 years. "These numbers are terrifying," said the CGIL. "They are the sign of a very deep crisis".

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