NEET is an acronym for ‘not in employment, education or training’, used to refer to the situation of many young persons, aged between 15 and 29. The aim of the NEET concept is to broaden understanding of the vulnerable status of young people and to better monitor their problematic access to the labor market.

European Foundation for the Improvement of Living and Working Conditions

NEET Implications

NEETs are more likely to become disenfranchised and suffer from poverty and social exclusion, including a considerable loss in productive capacity at a macroeconomic level.

This problem has been accelerated during the financial crisis of 2008.

Using NEET as a labeling factor can be problematic, due to how broad this world can actually be, considering how broad the terminology can be, a NEET can be a person that’s caring for his grandparents, or parents that are suffering from a disability, that have the potential to be a quality employee, down to children surviving off the well being of their parents, choosing to chase pleasure & non-productive activities all day, such as spending unearned money or simply playing video games without an economic incentive ( such as gaming streamers, or content creators, that produce entertainment through their gaming )

NEET Brackets, by EU Reporting

The EU has categorized NEETs in the following brackets :

  • Re-entrants ( 7.8% ) – have already been hired or enrolled in education or training, and will soon leave the NEETs group.
  • Short-term unemployed ( 29.8% ) – unemployed and seeking work, and have been unemployed for less than a year; moderately vulnerable.
  • Long-term unemployed ( 22% ) –  unemployed, seeking work and have been unemployed for more than a year; at high risk of disengagement and social exclusion.
  • Illness, disability ( 6.8% ) – Not seeking work due to illness or disability; includes those who need more social support because they cannot do paid work.
  • Family responsibilities ( 15.4% ) – Cannot work because they are caring for children or incapacitated adults or have other family responsibilities.
  • Discouraged ( 5.8% ) – Believe that there are no job opportunities and have stopped looking for work; at high risk of social exclusion and lifelong disengagement for employment.
  • Other ( 12.5 ) – The most privileged and those who are following alternative paths, such as artistic careers; most vulnerable

NEET Growth Rate

Year European Union Latin America & Caribbean North America
2005 13.38% 20.27% 16.42%
2006 11.89% 20.02% 15.50%
2007 10.96% 19.63% 15.30%
2008 10.74% 19.27% 16.49%
2009 12.37% 19.89% 19.07%
2010 12.66% 19.31%
2011 12.76% 20.03% 18.39%
2012 13.07% 19.81% 18.28%
2013 12.96% 20.20% 17.76%
2014 12.57% 19.77% 16.51%
2015 12.14% 20.86% 15.33%
2016 11.62% 21.23% 14.85%
2017 10.95% 21.45% 13.71%
2018 10.39% 21.08% 13.57%
2019 9.97% 20.93% 13.01%

Source : Data WorldBank

NEET Europe Growth Rate

Country 2011 2014 2017 2020
Belgium 13.8% 14.1% 12.6% 12.0%
Bulgaria 25.4% 24.6% 19.4% 18.6%
Czechia 12.1% 12.1% 10.0% 11.0%
Denmark 8.4% 8.0% 9.8% 10.2%
Germany 9.7% 8.7% 8.5% 8.5%
Estonia 14.7% 13.7% 11.0% 11.2%
Ireland 22.4% 17.8% 12.8% 14.1%
Greece 23.0% 26.7% 21.3% 18.7%
Spain 20.6% 20.7% 16.4% 17.3%
France 12.0% 13.4% 13.2% 13.4%
Croatia 19.1% 21.8% 17.9% 14.6%
Italy 22.5% 26.1% 24.0% 23.3%
Cyprus 14.8% 19.5% 17.6% 15.3%
Latvia 19.1% 15.2% 12.3% 11.9%
Lithuania 14.7% 12.9% 10.2% 13.0%
Luxemburg 6.6% 6.5% 6.6% 7.7%
Hungary 15.5% 14.7% 11.2% 12.3%
Malta 12.1% 11.6% 8.8% 9.5%
Netherlands 5.9% 7.6% 5.9% 5.7%
Austria 8.9% 9.7% 8.8% 9.9%
Poland 15.2% 15.5% 12.9% 12.9%
Portugal 13.9% 14.6% 10.6% 11.0%
Romania 19.5% 19.9% 17.8% 16.6%
Slovenia 9.4% 12.9% 9.3% 9.2%
Slovakia 18.7% 18.2% 16.0% 15.2%
Finland 10.0% 11.8% 10.9% 10.3%
Sweden 7.9% 7.8% 6.8% 7.2%
Iceland 7.6% 6.9% 4.1% 7.0%
Norway 6.6% 7.1% 6.4% 6.6%
Switzerland 7.9% 7.7% 7.2% 6.3%
Montenegro 24.6% 22.5% 21.4% 26.6%
North Macedonia 31.6% 31.9% 31.1% 26.2%
Serbia 25.5% 21.7% 20.0%
Turkey 32.7% 28.4% 27.5% 32.0%

Source : EuroStat – Young people neither in employment nor in education and training – annual data

Hiring NEETs

Depending on the bracket that potential employee is placed, a NEET might provide a good output for your business, of course, there are exceptions, such as the privileged ones, which most likely would lack the motivation to work, fortunately, the Conscientiousness from the Big Five Personality Traits can be a good indicator if the employee is fit for your position, in the scenario where the prospective employee was caring for a family member while out of the workforce, she’ll most likely score highly on the Agreeableness trait, it all depends on the position you’re hiring for.

The most important factor is the Neuroticism trait, if the person is simply lacking a sense of purpose, and the job will provide that, most likely the employee’s life will become better, and get over his or her dark thoughts, and move forward to a better life.

Macromanagement might not be a suitable work style if the person requires hands-on experience & guidance, but it depends on the previous experience of the potential hire and current motivations.

To sum it up, NEETs are potentially great employees or very bad ones, it seems like the middle line is blurred, and properly segmenting during your hiring flow will help you pick the right one.

I’m focused on ensuring Enlivy will make it practical to hire people and go through 100’s of candidates with ease, and I cannot wait to leverage the opportunity to get more people in the workforce.

Robert Rusu

I cannot wait for Enlivy to be out there. In the meantime, I'll occasionally blog about topics I find interesting

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