TODAY   |  May 01, 2013

Italy suffers from lack of pizza makers

Pizza is a $9 billion-per-year industry in Italy. But even though youth unemployment is close to 40 percent, the country is in desperate need of pizza makers. NBC’s Michelle Kosinski reports.

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This content comes from Closed Captioning that was broadcast along with this program.

>>> with an unexpected crisis of sorts in italy. the country that brought the world pizza is now facing a major shortage of peedz.

>> makers. nbc's michelle kosinski is in rome with more. good morning to you.

>> reporter: matt, imagine, there aren't enough pete ople in italy to make pizza . it's a $9 billion a year industry. with the struggling economy more are eating take-out pizza . although youth unemployment here just hit 40%, it seems like most young italians would rather do something else. that crispy crust, delicious oil, tomato, topping, perfection. the real thing, as it's been done for centuries except --

>> we need pizza makers.

>> reporter: you don't care where they come from?

>> no.

>> reporter: more and more italian pizza is not crafted by italians. kn neopolitan, he says, recruited by an egyptian friend. it's really tiring. youth nowadays want an easier job. yes, it is a difficult job. an art form, really. like hell fire in there. demanding way more training than, say, five minutes. bravo.

>> maybe a year.

>> reporter: a year? your standards must be really high, though, right?

>> yes.

>> reporter: restaurant owner says i tried to get a young italian to work. after one week, he threw in the towel. 32-year-old digiacomo works as a courier during the day, at night delivers pizza .

>> it's not an easy job.

>> reporter: you don't like making pizza ?

>> i like but i'm not good. it's difficult.

>> reporter: they need more pizza makers?

>> no, there will always be, just maybe not italian.

>> reporter: makes you appreciate pizza more. there aren't any numbers on how many pizza makers are italian but those in the industry believe most are not, they are egyptians. and some are trying to steal workers away from chinese restaurants.

>> everyone in the studio thinks you're there with a complete boondoggle with this story.

>> reporter: never, never.

>> that's okay. we'll let you get away with this. that's all right. michelle kosinski , thank you.