Northern Ireland Labour Force Survey – Young People Not in Education, Employment or Training (NEET)

Date published: 22 August 2019

Statistics on young people who are not in education, employment or training (NEET) were published today by the Northern Ireland Statistics & Research Agency.

NEET statistics published by NISRA.
NEET statistics published by NISRA.

Young people who were NEET

  • There were 20,000 young people aged 16-24 years in Northern Ireland who were not in education, employment or training (NEET) in April to June 2019. This was equivalent to 10.2% of all aged 16-24 years.
  • Of the 20,000 who were NEET, 9,000 were female (1).
  • While the number of NEETS had been on a general downward trend over the last four years from a peak of 39,000 in January – March 2015, April – June 2019 showed an increase in the level and rates of NEETS over the previous quarter.
  • In April - June 2019 there were 14,000 young people aged 16-24 years who were not in education, employment or training and who were not looking for work and/or not available to start work (economically inactive). The remainder of those who were not in education, employment or training were looking for work in the previous four weeks and available to start within the next two weeks (unemployed).
  • The proportion of young people who were NEET in the UK was 11.1%.

(1) Please note numbers may not sum due to rounding.

Notes to editors: 

1. The associated NEETs tables are available at the Quarterly Labour Force Survey Tables page

2. The Young People Not in Education, Employment or Training (NEET) tables provide information on the labour market status of 16-24 year olds. The tables are published in March, May, August and November and the figures are obtained from the Labour Force Survey (a survey of households).

3. A person is considered to be in education or training if any of the following apply –

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

4. In employment includes all people in some form of paid work, including working part-time. People not in employment are classed as either unemployed or economically inactive. Unemployed people are those who have been looking for work in the past four weeks and who are available to start work within the next two weeks. Economically inactive people are those who have not been looking for work and/or who are not available to start work. Examples include those not looking for work because they are students or looking after dependents at home. These definitions are based on those recommended by the International Labour Organisation (ILO).

5. The number who were NEET increased from the previous quarter but decreased from the previous year, though neither change was statistically significant. The LFS is a sample survey and, as such, estimates obtained from it are subject to sampling variability. If we drew many samples, each would give a different result. Quarterly changes should be considered within longer term trends. Additionally, data is not seasonally adjusted so ideally longer-term comparisons should be made using the same quarters each year to account for seasonal effects.

6. NEET statistics based on the Labour Force Survey will be of interest to policy makers, public bodies, the business community, banks, economic commentators, academics and the general public with an interest in the local economy.

7. The next NEET tables will be published on the NISRA website on 21st November 2019.

8. For media enquiries, please contact DfE Press Office on 028 9052 9604. Outside office hours, please contact the Duty Press Officer on 028 9037 8110.

9. Feedback is welcomed and should be addressed to Responsible statistician: Carly Gordon, Economic & Labour Market Statistics Branch (ELMS), or Tel: 028 9025 5172.

10. Follow ELMS on Twitter - @ELMSNISRA

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