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.
“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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