Italy's unemployment rate was stable at 8.4% in April as some 12,000 jobs were lost during the month, national statistics bureau ISTAT reported on Wednesday.

A Reuters survey of analysts had forecast an April jobless rate of 8.3%. March's rate was revised up to 8.4% from a previously reported 8.3%.

Despite the latest slight downturn in jobs, in the three months to April employment was still up by 141,000 or 0.6%, compared with the November to January period, ISTAT said.

Compared with April 2021, employment was up by around 670,000, or 3.0%.

More than half the jobs created in the last year have been temporary contracts, ISTAT said. The number of temporary workers in Italy now stands above 3.15 million, the highest number since 1977, it added.

In April, the youth unemployment rate, measuring job-seekers between 15 and 24 years old, fell to 23.8% from 25.1% the month before, hitting its lowest level since 2009.

Italy's overall employment rate, one of the lowest in the euro zone, was stable in April at 59.9%, the highest level since ISTAT's current historic series began.

Italy's economic prospects have dimmed due to the fallout from Russia's invasion of Ukraine. The economy grew by just 0.1% in the first quarter from the previous three months, ISTAT reported on Tuesday.

Prime Minister Mario Draghi's government this spring revised down Italy's full-year gross domestic product forecast to 3.1% from a 4.7% projection made in September.

The latest forecast is considered optimistic by most independent bodies.

ISTAT gave the following data:

APRIL MARCH FEB JAN JOBLESS RATE 8.4 8.4r 8.6r 8.7r YOUTH UNEMPLOYMENT RATE (15-24) 23.8 25.1r 24.2 25.5r EMPLOYMENT RATE (15-64) 59.9 59.9 59.6r 59.4

 (Reporting by Gavin Jones)