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Italy August jobless rate stable at 10.7 percent

ROME, Oct 1 (Reuters) - Italy's seasonally adjusted unemployment rate was unchanged in August at 10.7 percent, remaining at its highest level since the series began in 2004, data from statistics office ISTAT showed on Monday.

August's figure was slightly lower than the median forecast of 10.8 percent in a Reuters survey.

The employment rate slipped to 56.9 percent from 57.1 percent the month earlier, mainly due to a decline in female employment, ISTAT said.

The unemployment rate among 15-24 year olds eased to 34.5 percent from 35.0 percent in July.

Analysts say the real challenge for Italy is to increase its chronically low rates of employment and participation in the labour market, which are among the lowest in the industrialized world, especially among women, the young and the elderly.

Aug July June May JOBLESS RATE 10.7 10.7 10.7 10.5 EMPLOYMENT RATE (15-64) 56.9 57.1 57.1 57.1 (Reporting by Catherine Hornby) ((Rome newsroom +39 06 8522 4350, rome.newsroom@reuters.com))