Italy's unemployment rate rose to 7.6% in July from an upwardly revised 7.5% in June as some 73,000 jobs were lost in the month, national statistics bureau ISTAT reported on Thursday.

A Reuters survey of 10 analysts had forecast a July jobless rate of 7.4%, which was the level previously reported for June.

Despite July's weak figures, in the three months from May to July employment was still up by 119,000, or 0.5%, compared with the February-to-April period, ISTAT said.

Compared with July 2022, the number of employed was up by 362,000, or 1.6%.

In July, the youth unemployment rate, measuring job-seekers between 15 and 24 years old, edged down marginally to 22.1% from 22.2% the month before.

Italy's overall employment rate, one of the lowest in the euro zone, fell in July to 61.3% from 61.5% in June.

Until July, Italian jobs data had held up well in recent months despite a slowing economy.

Gross domestic product fell 0.3% in the second quarter from the previous three months, according to preliminary data, and coming quarters are expected to remain sluggish thanks partly to a recent rise in interest rates.

Rome is officially forecasting 2023 full-year GDP growth at 1.0%, compared with the buoyant 3.7% expansion seen last year.

ISTAT gave the following data:

JULY JUNE MAY APRIL JOBLESS RATE 7.6 7.5r 7.7r 7.8r YOUTH UNEMPLOYMENT RATE (15-24) 22.1 22.2r 23.0r 21.6r EMPLOYMENT RATE (15-64) 61.3 61.5 61.3 61.1r r=revised