Italy was in a very poor economic position following the First World War. Like other countries in 1930s Europe, Mussolini's fascist government faced serious problems resulting from the Great Depression, including mass unemployment.
There was considerable state intervention during this period. This included the nationalization of bankrupt firms, which from 1933 onwards were put under the control of the Industrial Reconstruction Institute.
During the Fascist period, there were also schemes such as state-sponsored road building, which provided work for individuals who would otherwise have been unemployed.
The picture, from a German source, claimed to show hundreds of Italian workers queuing outside a factor for just 10 jobs during October 1931.