Italian unemployment has risen to its highest level in three years, an Istat report has claimed.

In the first quarter of 2009, the number of jobless people has risen to 7.3% from 7.0% in the final quarter of 2008.

The level of unemployment was the highest in the southern region of the country, where it rose to 13.2% in the quarter, more than double that of the north.

Following the report, the euro exchange rate against the pound has dropped slightly down to 0.84825.

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