The fundamentals of the last PIG country, which has so far avoided the bond carnage of its peripheral peers, reported that while broad unemployment was 8.7%, the "highest since the beginning of the beginning of the time series in 2004" it is youth unemployment which, like in Spain, is becoming a few bigger issues. Corriere Della Sera announced that youth unemployment has hit a record of 28.9%: "Youth unemployment, however, did rise as the rate climbed to 28.9%, up 0.9 percentage points on October and 2.4 points higher than in November 2009. This, too, is the highest level since time series were introduced in January 2004." Yet even at these levels, this is still modest compared to countries like Spain, where the same metric was trending around 40% and is expected to remain there through 2011.
There is some good news though, especially for women workers in Italy:
Nevertheless, slightly more (50,000 or 0.2%) Italians were in employment in November compared with October, 0.1% (14,000) more than in November 2009. ISTAT’s estimate, based on deseasonalised figures and provisional estimates, notes that the increase is due to greater numbers of women employed, with legalisations of home helps and carers, and the presumed impact of part-time workers.
That said, with fundamentals no longer relevant, the only catalysts the market is concerned about for the next several days will be the plethora of bond auctions with Portugal coming to market tomorrow, followed promptly by Spain. Both are expected to price their issues at or near all time wide levels, which explains why the ECB has been in the market all day today, buying up every piece of paper available in an attempt to stabilize the market ahead of tomorrow.