The EU is working to reduce youth unemployment and to increase the youth employment rate in line with the wider EU target of achieving a 75% employment rate for the working-age population (20-64 years).
Factsheet: Addressing youth unemployment in the EU
- Over 5 million young people (under 25) were unemployed in the EU-28 area in the second quarter of 2014.
- This represents an unemployment rate of 21.7% (23.2% in the euro area). This is more than twice as high as the adult unemployment rate (9.0%).
- 7.5 million young Europeans between 15 and 24 are neither in employment, nor in education or training (NEETs).
- 12% of the 18-24 year old population are early school leavers.
- In the last four years, the overall employment rates for young people fell three times as much as for adults.
- The gap between the countries with the highest and the lowest jobless rates for young people is extremely high. There is a gap of nearly 50 percentage points between the EU country with the lowest rate of youth unemployment (Germany at 7.8% in July 2014) and with the EU country with the highest rate, Spain (53.8% in July 2014). Spain is followed by Greece (53.1% in May 2014), Italy (42.9%), Croatia (41.5%), Portugal (35.5%) and Cyprus (35.1% in June 2014).
- There are significant skills mismatches on Europe's labour market.
- Despite the crisis, there are over 2 million unfilled vacancies in the EU.