Gold medallist Luca Ferretti (2nd L) of Italy is flanked by his compatriots silver medallist Simone Ercoli (L) and bronze medallist Simone Ruffini as well as joint bronze medallist Spyridon Gianniotis (R) of Greece as the flag of Italy is raised during the medal ceremony of the men's 5 km open water race at the European Swimming Championships in Lake Balaton in Balatonfured August 5, 2010. REUTERS/Wolfgang Rattay (HUNGARY - Tags: SPORT SWIMMING)

Italian unemployment rose to 10.8 per cent in June, with a record of almost 2.8 million people out of work, according to preliminary calculations by national statistics office Istat.

Unemployment increased by 37.5 per cent, or 761,000 jobless, year on year. This was also an increase of 2.7 per cent on the May figures, meaning an additional 73,000 people were looking for work.

The proportion out of work within the 15-24 age group sank one per cent from the previous month, to 34.3 per cent, or more than 600,000 people.

Italy is experiencing a recession, while the technocratic government of Prime Minister Mario Monti has implemented a strict austerity programme to battle the country's financial crisis. - Sapa-dpa