Firstly, the article shows that looking at the proportion of unemployed on the total population of 15-24 years old youth a picture results that is different from that provided by the unemployment rate. Furthermore, the labour market status of young and young adults (25-34 years) in 2012 has been compared with that in mid-Eighties, the most critical period before the current crisis. Finally, using for the first time a new Istat survey carried out in 2009, the characteristics of the first jobs attained by youth between 2000 and 2009 were compared with those of first jobs attained between 1971 and 1980 by a generation of youth, which at present coincides with their parents. The results show a huge increase of precarious working conditions, especially for the highly educated youth, who, what is more, face increasing difficulties in accessing highly skilled jobs. Both those processes have been strongly emphasized by the crisis.
Keywords: Youth, unemployment, first jobs, precarious jobs, professional qualification