Italy’s new premier has vowed that his government’s top focus will be reducing unemployment, which has hit a new high. Premier Matteo Renzi tweeted during a Cabinet meeting Friday that the 12.9 percent unemployment figure for January was “shocking.” He pledged to focus efforts of his week-old government on his so-called Jobs Act. That is his plan for legislation to encourage hiring by slashing payroll taxes and allowing more flexibility in how permanent contracts are given. Also worrisome was a record 42.4 percent unemployment rate for people aged 15 to 24.
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