783,000 people aged 16-24 were Not in Education, Employment or Training (NEET) in the second quarter of 2018, 11.2% of all people in this age group. This was a decrease of 25,000 from the previous quarter and a slight decrease from the second quarter of 2017.Jump to full report >>
Studies have shown that time spent NEET can have a detrimental effect on physical and mental health, and increase the likelihood of unemployment, low wages, or low quality of work later on in life.
37% of the young people who were NEET in the second quarter of 2018 were unemployed. The remaining 63% were economically inactive, which means they were not working, not seeking work and/or not available to start work.
The proportion of 16-24 year olds who were NEET remained relatively steady between 2002 and 2008, and at the beginning of 2008 13.4% were NEET. The proportion increased following the 2008 recession and peaked in July-September 2011 when 16.9% of 16-24 year olds were NEET (1.25 million people). Since then the number of people who are NEET has been falling.
Historically more women than men have been NEET, but the gap has narrowed over recent years. In the second quarter of 2018, slightly more men were NEET than women.
The main reason why there has been a fall for women is a large fall in the number of women who are inactive because they are looking after their family or home.
The number of men who are inactive has been rising over the last couple of years mainly due to an increase in the number of men who were either long term sick or disabled.
In 2016, the proportion of 15-19 year-olds who are NEET in the UK was higher than the OECD average, but it was less than the OECD average for 20-24 year olds and 15-29 year olds.
Of the OECD countries, Iceland had the lowest proportion of 15-29 year olds who are NEET (5.3%) and Turkey had the highest (28.2%).
Some of the policies in place that aim to reduce the number of people who are NEET include: