The unemployed in Italy are amongst the unhappiest in Europe. A survey conducted by a European economic research institute, Enepri, between 1994 and 2001 on the unemployed in 14 countries, has revealed that people out of work in Italy have a more difficult time and have a more negative attitude to their condition than those in other European countries where developed welfare systems and a more dynamic employment market offer more support and a better chance of finding a job.

On a scale of 1 6 (1 being the worst and 6 the best), the level of satisfaction amongst the unemployed in Italy was 1.92 compared to 2.09 in Greece, 4.04 in Holland and 4.10 in Denmark. Only in Portugal did the unemployed feel worse off, with a rating of 1.85