Young people not in employment, education or training: What did they do in the past 12 months?
Young people (aged 15 to 29) who are not in employment, education or training (NEET) are often considered to be more vulnerable than their peers, as they may face a risk of becoming disengaged or socially excluded, and could miss out on gaining skills or experience in the labour market.
While Statistics Canada has previously examined the characteristics of the NEET population,1 this is the first study to examine the main activities of NEET15- to 29-year-olds over a 12-month period using Labour Force Survey (LFS) data. 2 Among the activities to be analyzed are going to school, working, caring for children, and volunteering both as a main and secondary activity.
Overall, there were 6.9 million young people aged 15 to 29 in Canada in September 2018. Of those, 4.0 million were non-students (57.8%), while 2.9 million were students 3 (42.4%). Both categories (students and non-students) are then divided into the employed and the not employed. The NEET population consists of all non-students who are not employed: in September 2018, 779,000 people were in this category (11.3% of the total population aged 15 to 29).
Those aged 25 to 29 comprised the largest proportion (46.8%) of young people who were NEET during the LFS reference week, followed by 20 to 24 (36.9%), and 15 to 19 (16.2%). While NEET individuals were slightly more likely to be female (52.1%) than male (47.9%) overall, those aged 15 to 19 were a few percentage points more likely to be male, and those aged 25 to 29 were similarly likely to be female.
Of young people who were NEET in September 2018, 34.5% were unemployed (looking for work and available for work), and 65.5% were inactive (not looking for work). While each of these groups may be at risk of falling behind their peers on work experience, this concern is generally greater for those who are inactive, as they may face challenges entering or re-entering the labour force.
Both male and female NEET individuals were more likely to be inactive than unemployed, though the share of women that were out of the labour force (72.2%) was greater than the share of men (58.2%).