Labour Market

EU’s Progress in Reducing Youth Inactivity

Over the last decade, the EU has witnessed a significant drop in the share of young people neither in employment nor in education or training, known as the NEET rate.

Data from @eu_eurostat shows the NEET rate for youth aged 15-29 has decreased from 16% in 2012 to 11.7% in 2022, with the vast majority of EU countries observing a decline in the share of inactive youth.

This reduction aligns with the objectives of the European Pillar of Social Rights, which targets to lower the NEET rate for young people to under 9% by 2030. Encouragingly, a third of EU members have already achieved this target.

The Netherlands reported the lowest proportion of NEETs at 4.2%, while Romania recorded the highest at 19.8%. Meanwhile, Ireland experienced the greatest decline from 2012 to 2022, reducing its NEET rate from 21.6% to 8.7%.

Gender disparities persist, however, with a higher proportion of young women aged 15-29 classified as NEETs (13.1%) in 2022, compared to men (10.5%). This disparity is prevalent across most EU countries.

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