4% of youth not in employment, education or training

© Hollandse Hoogte / Paul van Riel
In 2017, 4 percent of young people in the Netherlands aged 15 to 24 years were neither in employment nor in education or training (NEET). This is equivalent to 84 thousand young people. Over four in ten indicate they are also not willing or able to work. Health problems are the most frequently cited reason. This is demonstrated by recent research by Statistics Netherlands (CBS) on the basis of the Labour Force Survey.

Among all EU countries, the percentage share of young people not in employment, education or training (NEET rate) is lowest in the Netherlands. The EU average amounted to 12 percent in 2016. The highest rate is seen in Italy at 20 percent.

15 to 24-year-olds not in employment, education or training (NEETs), 2016 (%)
 Not in employment, education or training
Italy19.9
Bulgaria18.2
Romania17.4
Croatia16.9
Cyprus16
Greece15.8
Spain14.6
Ireland13
Slovakia12.3
France11.9
EU-2811.6
Latvia11.2
Hungary11
United Kingdom10.9
Portugal10.6
Poland10.5
Belgium9.9
Finland9.9
Lithuania9.4
Estonia9.1
Malta8.5
Slovenia8
Austria7.7
Czech Republic7
Germany6.7
Sweden6.5
Denmark5.8
Luxembourg5.4
Netherlands4.6

In the Netherlands, the youth NEET rate has fluctuated around 5 percent for several years. The EU average has been fairly stable for years as well. Some countries saw the NEET rate increase between 2007 and 2016, such as Romania and Greece; the rate declined in Denmark and Belgium.

Over four in ten not willing or not able to work

Out of all young NEETs, 43 percent indicate they are not willing or not able to work. They are the NEETs who are furthest away from the labour market. Aside from this group, nearly one in five are not immediately available for work or have not been looking for work recently. Almost one-third of the NEET group are actively looking for work and are immediately available. They belong to the unemployed labour force.

There is a large inflow and outflow among NEETs. One-third find a job or attend education again within three months, for example.

Health main reason for being unable to work

Illness or disability is the most prominent reason for those who are not willing nor able to work. Another 12 percent indicate they are not willing to work because of education or training. These include young people who will take part in education again in the near future, for instance. Furthermore, 6 percent cite family or household responsibilities as a reason. Compared to their peers, NEETs are nearly twice as likely to have one or more children.

Main reason for not being able or willing to work, 2017
 Reason
Illness or disability53.2
Training or education11.9
Family and/or household responsibilities6.1
Other reason28.7