Rome, July 16 - The Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) said in a report on Tuesday that it was worried about the number of Italians who are idle. The proportion of young Italians aged 15-to-24 out of work has climbed to around four in 10 and the OECD said that it is "worrisome" that the trend is essentially accounted for by an increase in the number of young people Not in Employment or in Education and Training (NEET). The OECD's Employment Outlook 2013 said that the proportion of young people in this category reached 21.4% by the end of 2012, the third highest in the OECD after Greece and Turkey. "This makes a striking contrast with the experience of most other OECD countries, where many youth responded to poor employment prospects by delaying entry into the labour market and investing more in education," said the report. "For Italian NEET youth, there is a growing risk of long-term scarring effects - that is of suffering a permanent reduction in their employability and earnings capacity. "Moreover, they are likely to fall behind their counterparts in other countries who, by substituting education for labour market experience, are likely to come out of the crisis better equipped to face future technological challenges". Furthermore, the OECD said that over half of Italian workers under 25, 52.9%, had precarious jobs based on temporary or other atypical labour contracts - up from 26.2% in 2000. Nevertheless, the OECD said Premier Enrico Letta's government should not revoke controversial reforms of the labour market, including measures that make it easier for firms to fire workers in some cases, that were approved by the emergency technocrat administration of his predecessor Mario Monti. "The reform 92/2012 of July 2012, by limiting the unfair dismissal cases in which reinstatement can be ordered by courts and making the dispute-resolution procedures quicker and more predictable, can be expected to improve productivity growth and job creation in the future," the report said. "Limiting the extent of reinstatement is key to enhance worker flows and productivity growth".
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di Sebastiano Caspanello