NEET figures: comment from the Institute for Employment Studies

Press Releases

13 Jul 2011

Young adults are continuing to struggle to gain a foothold in the labour market according figures released today by the Government. The latest statistics from the Department for Education on the numbers of young people not in education, employment or training (NEET) show that:

  • In the second quarter of 2011, 979,000 16 to 24 year olds in England were NEET, that is roughly one in six of the young population. This represents a rise of over 100,000 over the equivalent figures for 2010.
  • However, the numbers and proportion of 16 to 18 year olds not in education, employment or training has fallen over the same period by over 10,000 to 186,000 (9.8 per cent of the relevant population) as more young people look to stay on in education or find an apprenticeship.
  • The big rise is among the 19 to 24 year olds. 794,000 of that age group are now not in education, employment or training – up by 120,000 over the past year and the highest figure since the current series of statistics began in 2006. Almost one in five young adults are currently out of work and not at college or university.
  • More young women than men are currently NEET. Among the 19 to 24 year olds who are NEET, 458,000 (58 per cent) are female.
  • The pattern varies considerably around the country. Around 24 per cent of 19 to 24 year olds in the North West are NEET, compared to a relatively low 14.4 per cent in the South East.

Jim Hillage, Director of Research at the Institute for Employment Studies, comments:

‘The labour market is a very tough place to be for young people at the moment. Young adults who can’t find an apprenticeship or a college place are finding it particularly hard to compete for jobs against older, more experienced, job-seekers not just from this country but also from the rest of Europe. Unfortunately it seems likely that the situation will get worse before it gets better as the economic recovery falters and job growth stalls.’