Why is it important that the EU encourages youth employment?
- More than 3.3 million young people (aged 15-24 years) are unemployed in 2019 in the EU.
- In 2018, more than 5.5 million young people (aged 15-24 years) were neither in employment nor in education or training (NEETs) in the EU.
- Although it has decreased – from 24% in 2013 to less than 15% in 2019 – the youth unemployment rate is still very high in the EU (with peaks of more than 30% in several countries) and more than double the overall unemployment rate (less than 7%) and masks big differences between countries.
- Helping young people enter and stay in the labour market helps promote economic growth and better living conditions.
- Young people face specific challenges in the transition from school to work. Being new to the labour market they are less likely to find a job, or are often employed on temporary and part-time contracts.
- Young people are more easily dismissed if the economic cycle is weak.
- The levels of youth unemployment and inactivity are largely influenced by the economy, but they may also be caused by structural challenges.
- Structural challenges include unsatisfactory outcomes in education and training, segmentation of labour markets affecting young people, and at times the low capacity of public employment services to provide tailored services to young people, particularly to the most vulnerable.