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Youth employment

Young people and newspaper articles in the foreground

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: EU measures to tackle youth unemployment

Key actions


  • Youth unemployment rate is more than twice as high as the adult one – 23.3 % against 9.3 % in the fourth quarter of 2012.
  • The chances for a young unemployed person of finding a job are low – only 29.7 % of those aged 15-24 and unemployed in 2010 found a job in 2011.
  • When young people do work, their jobs tend to be less stable – in 2012, 42.0 % of young employees were working on a temporary contract (four times as much as adults) and 32.0 % part-time (nearly twice the adults’ rate).
  • Early leavers from education and training are a high-risk group – 55.5% of them are not employed and within this group about 70% want to work.
  • Resignation is an increasing concern – 12.6 % of inactive youth wanted to work but were not searching for employment in the third quarter of 2012.
  • In 2011, 12.9% of young people were neither in employment nor in education or training (NEETs).
  • There are significant skills mismatches on Europe's labour market.
  • Despite the crisis, there are over 2 million unfilled vacancies in the EU.


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