Young people not in education, employment or training (NEET), UK: November 2022

Estimates of young people (aged 16 to 24 years) who are not in education, employment or training, by age and sex.

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Contact:
Email Bob Watson

Release date:
24 November 2022

Next release:
23 February 2023

1. Main points

  • There was an increase in the number of young people who were aged 16 to 24 years and not in education, employment or training (NEET) in July to September 2022, with the total currently estimated to be 724,000, up from 711,000 in April to June 2022.

  • The percentage of all young people who were NEET in July to September 2022 was estimated at 10.6%, up 0.2 percentage points on the quarter (April to June 2022), but down 0.5 percentage points compared with pre-coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic levels (October to December 2019).

  • The increase in the number of young people who were NEET was entirely affected by women, who saw an increase of 14,000 on the quarter (from April to June 2022).

  • The number of young people who were NEET and economically inactive in July to September 2022 was estimated to be 490,000, an increase of 17,000 on the quarter (from April to June 2022).

  • There were an estimated 234,000 young people in the UK who were NEET and unemployed, a record low; of these, an estimated record low 218,000 were aged 18 to 24 years.

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2. Total young people who were not in education, employment or training (NEET)

An estimated 10.6% of all people aged 16 to 24 years in the UK were not in education, employment or training in July to September 2022. This is 0.2 percentage points up on the quarter, and up 0.2 percentage points compared with July to September 2021, but 0.5 percentage points down on pre-coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic levels (October to December 2019). An estimated 11.0% of young men (down 0.1 percentage points on the quarter) and 10.2% of young women (up 0.4 percentage points on the quarter) were NEET. In total, 724,000 young people were NEET, an increase of 12,000 on the quarter, which was entirely influenced by women. Of the total number of young people who were NEET, 383,000 were men and 340,000 were women.

The total number of people aged 18 to 24 years who were NEET was 675,000, up 7,000 on the previous quarter.

The percentage of those aged 18 to 24 years who were NEET was 12.6%, which was up 0.1 percentage points on the quarter.

Unemployed young people who were not in education, employment or training

There were an estimated 234,000 unemployed young people aged 16 to 24 years who were NEET in July to September 2022. This was a record low, down 5,000 from April to June 2022 and down 37,000 compared with July to September 2021. An estimated 155,000 of these unemployed NEETS were men, a record low, and 79,000 were women.

Economically inactive young people who were not in education, employment or training

In July to September 2022, there were an estimated 490,000 economically inactive young people aged 16 to 24 years who were NEET. This was up 17,000 on the quarter from April to June 2022 and up 52,000 compared with July to September 2021. The number of young men who were NEET and economically inactive was 228,000, and the number of young women was 262,000.

Subnational not in education, employment or training (NEET) estimates are not published by the Office for National Statistics (ONS), but can be accessed by following the related links in Section 8 of this bulletin.

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3. Young people who were not in education, employment or training data

Young people not in education, employment or training (NEET)
Dataset | Released 24 November 2022
Quarterly estimates for young people (aged 16 to 24 years) who are not in education, employment or training (NEET) in the UK.

Sampling variability for estimates of young people not in education, employment or training
Dataset | Released 24 November 2022
Labour Force Survey sampling quarterly variability estimates for young people (aged 16 to 24 years) who are not in education, employment or training (NEET) in the UK.

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4. Glossary

Young people

For this release, young people are defined as those aged 16 to 24 years. Estimates are also produced for the age groups 16 to 17 years and 18 to 24 years by sex, and separately for the age groups 18 to 20 years, 21 to 22 years and 23 to 24 years.

Education and training

People are considered to be in education or training if they:

  • are enrolled on an education course and are still attending or waiting for term to start or restart
  • are doing an apprenticeship
  • are on a government-supported employment or training programme
  • are working or studying towards a qualification
  • have had job-related training or education in the last four weeks

Young people not in education, employment or training (NEET)

Anybody who is not in any of the forms of education or training listed in the definition, and not in employment is considered to be NEET. As a result, a person identified as NEET will always be either unemployed or economically inactive.

Economic inactivity

People not in the labour force (also known as economically inactive) are not in employment, but do not meet the internationally accepted definition of unemployment because they have not been seeking work within the last four weeks and/or they are unable to start work in the next two weeks.

Employment

Employment measures the number of people in paid work, or those who had a job that they were temporarily away from (for example, because they were on holiday or off sick). This differs from the number of jobs because some people have more than one job.

Unemployment

Unemployment measures people without a job who have been actively seeking work within the last four weeks and are available to start work within the next two weeks.

more detailed glossary is available in our guide to Labour Market Statistics.

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5. Measuring the data

This statistical bulletin contains estimates for young people who were not in education, employment or training (NEET) in the UK. The bulletin is published quarterly in February or March, May, August and November. All estimates discussed in this statistical bulletin are for the UK and are seasonally adjusted.

Statistics in this bulletin are used to help monitor progress towards the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). Explore the UK data on our SDGs reporting platform.

Our NEET methodological article providing background information explains how missing information for identifying someone as NEET is appropriated based on individual characteristics.

Labour Force Survey (LFS) performance and quality monitoring reports provide data on response rates and other quality-related issues for the LFS.

The Office for National Statistics (ONS) is responsible for NEET statistics for the UK, published within this release. Estimates of the number of young people who are NEET within the countries of the UK and for subnational areas are the responsibility of the Department for Education for England, and the devolved administrations for each of the other countries. There is further information on the availability of subnational estimates of young people who are NEET in Section 7: Related links.

Coronavirus

View more information on how labour market data sources are affected by the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic.

View a comparison of our labour market data sources and the main differences.

The population totals used for the latest LFS estimates use projected growth rates from Real Time Information (RTI) data for UK, EU and non-EU populations based on 2021 patterns. The total population used for the LFS therefore does not take into account any changes in migration, birth rates, death rates, and so on, since June 2021. Levels estimates may be under- or over-estimating the true values and should be used with caution. Estimates of rates will, however, be robust.

Relationship to other labour market statistics for young people

Our monthly Labour market statistical bulletin includes the dataset A06: Educational status and labour market status for people aged from 16 to 24. The NEET statistics and the dataset A06 statistics are both derived from the LFS and use the same labour market statuses; however, the educational statuses are derived differently.

For dataset A06, the educational status is based on participation in full-time education only. For NEET statistics, the educational status is based on any form of education or training. Therefore, the dataset A06 category "not in full-time education" includes some people who are in part-time education and/or some form of training and who, consequently, should not be regarded as NEET.

Labour Force Survey reweighting

A new Labour Force Survey weighting methodology was introduced in July 2021. Further information is available in our Impact of reweighting on Labour Force Survey key indicators, UK: 2022 article.

Making our published spreadsheets accessible

Following the Government Statistical Service (GSS) guidance on releasing statistics in spreadsheets, we will be amending our published tables over the coming months to improve usability, accessibility and machine readability of our published statistics. To help users change to the new formats, we will be publishing sample versions of a selection of our tables, and where practical, initially publish the tables in both the new and current formats. If you have any questions or comments, please email labour.market@ons.gov.uk.

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6. Strengths and limitations

The figures in this bulletin come from the Labour Force Survey (LFS). Results from sample surveys are always estimates and not precise figures. As the number of people available in the sample gets smaller, the variability of the estimates that we can make from that sample size gets larger. In general, changes in the numbers and rates reported in this bulletin between three-month periods are small and are not usually greater than can be explained by sampling variability.

Our Sampling variability dataset shows sampling variabilities for estimates of young people who are not in education, employment or training (NEET) derived from the LFS.

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8. Cite this statistical bulletin

Office for National Statistics (ONS), published 24 November 2022, ONS website, statistical bulletin, Young people not in education, employment or training (NEET), UK: November 2022

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Contact details for this Statistical bulletin

Bob Watson
labour.supply@ons.gov.uk
Telephone: +44 1633 455070