Youth unemployment is a problem which tends to affect all countries with weak or negative employment growth. When growth in the economy slows, so may employment growth, as businesses hold back on expanding and creating new jobs - or worse, go into reverse, as they make cuts to their workforce to decrease costs. It is often young people who bear the heaviest cost of this, as they compete for fewer jobs against older workers with much more experience under their belt.

One way young people who cannot find work can improve their labour market prospects is to acquire, via education and training, those skills which employers are known to value. Where, however, young people are not in employment and neither are they participating in education nor training, they run an increased risk of becoming disconnected from the labour market and facing social exclusion. This has the potential to blight their entire working lives.

The young persons neither in education nor employment or training (NEET) rate is an indication of how many people aged 15-24 in an economy are neither in work, nor in formal education or training. This is expressed as a percentage of the total population aged 15-24 .

Note: All estimations are Skills intelligence Team own calculations based on Eurostat data.