The Neets, a generation in need

Fourteen million European young people are neither working nor in school. Their number is growing because of the economic crisis, with disparities according to the countries. Sociologists worry of the social and health consequences of this phenomenon.

A long-term unemployed youth in Naples, a teenage mother in Sachsen-Anhalt, a high school drop-out in Lelystad and a depressed couch potato in Vilnius: All vulnerable young people far removed from the labour market. Due to the continuing economic crisis they are ending up even further removed from working Europe.

“The figures on increasing youth unemployment are shocking. But in the calculations, we generally only count the young people who are ready to work and who want to work. There is also an enormous group which is so demotivated that they are turning away from the labour market,” says Massimiliano Mascherini of the European Foundation for the Improvement of Living and Working Conditions, an agency of the EU, on the phone. He studied young people who are neither working, nor following education or training (also called “Neets”). He looked at the background and the behaviour of these “couch potatoes” and what they are costing Europe.

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About the Author

The Corner
The Corner has a team of on-the-ground reporters in capital cities ranging from New York to Beijing. Their stories are edited by the teams at the Spanish magazine Consejeros (for members of companies’ boards of directors) and at the stock market news site Consenso Del Mercado (market consensus). They have worked in economics and communication for over 25 years.

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