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

Date published: 25 August 2022

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

Statistic graphic
Statistic graphic

Young people who were NEET

  • There were an estimated 15,000 young people aged 16 to 24 years in Northern Ireland who were not in education, employment or training (NEET) in April to June 2022. This was equivalent to 7.5% of all those aged 16 to 24 years in NI. The proportion of young people who were NEET in the UK was 9.8%.
  • Of the 15,000 people aged 16 to 24 years who were NEET in April to June 2022, 8,000 were men and 7,000 were women. This is equivalent to a NEET rate of 8.2% for men and 6.8% for women.
  • The number who were NEET decreased from the previous quarter and over the year (by 1,000 and 11,000 respectively). The change over the year was statistically significant.
  • In April to June 2022 there were an estimated 11,000 young people aged 16 to 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).

Notes to editors: 

1. In June 2022, the Labour Force Survey estimates were reweighted from January to March 2020 to January to March 2022 to include new population weights using PAYE Real-Time Information and with the introduction of the non-response bias adjustment to Northern Ireland data. This release includes revisions to NI NEET data between January to March 2020 and January to March 2022 in table 2.40. An overview of the impact of the reweighting on the NI estimates of unemployment, employment and economic inactivity can be found on the NISRA website

2. The Young People Not in Education, Employment or Training (NEET) tables provide information on the labour market status of 16 to 24 year olds. The tables are published in February, 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 decreased from the previous quarter and over the year, where the change over year was statistically significant. The Labour Force Survey (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.

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. Figures are rounded to the nearest thousand and therefore may not sum.

8. The next NEET quarterly tables will be published on the NISRA website on 24 November 2022.

9. Feedback is welcomed and should be addressed to:

Responsible statistician:

Holly McAteer,

Economic & Labour Market Statistics Branch (ELMS), or Tel: 028 9025 5176.

10. To keep up to date with news from the Department you can follow us on the following social media channels:

Twitter – @Economy_NI

Facebook – @EconomyNI

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LinkedIn – Department for the Economy NI 

11. For media enquiries contact the Department for the Economy Press Office at .

12. The Executive Information Service operates an out of hours service for media enquiries only between 1800hrs and 0800hrs Monday to Friday and at weekends and public holidays. The duty press officer can be contacted on 028 9037 8110.

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