Good news on the employment front this week. According to the latest figures from Istat, Italys national institute for statistics, some 127,000 new jobs were created in the second quarter of 2005, up 0.5 per cent on the same period last year. The employment rate was also up 213,000 or one per cent over the same period to stand at 22,651,000. However, the lions share of new jobs was in the north of the country, with numbers increasing by 178,000, while the south and centre barely stirred with 17,000 and 18,000 extra jobs respectively. All told, Italys non-seasonally adjusted jobless rate stood at 7.5 per cent, ranging from 3.9 per cent in the north to 6.3 per cent in the centre of the country to 14.1 per cent in the south. Although unemployment rates are down across the board, Istat says this may indicate that more people are leaving the job market or are deciding not to look for work, women in particular.