Economic downturns tend to have a greater impact on youth compared to core-age workers. Youth unemployment tends to be higher and job stability and quality tend to decline—factors that can hinder a timely transition from school to work (Quintini and Martin 2006). Downturns can thus impede youths’ entry into well-matched career jobs and may have long-term effects on their well-being (Bell and Blanchflower 2010).
A suite of well-established indicators are used to assess the labour market performance of youth, including the employment rate, unemployment rate and long-term unemployment rate. During the late 1990s, a number of European countries and the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) began publishing another indicator, the NEET rate—the proportion of all youth who are Not in Education, Employment, or Training. The term was coined in Britain after reports that an increasing number of older teenagers were leaving school and remaining jobless for long periods (Social Exclusion Unit 1999).