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
- More than 4.5 million young people (aged 15-24 years) are unemployed today in the EU.
- Although it has decreased – from more than 23% in 2013 to less than 21% today – the youth unemployment rate is still very high in the EU (with peaks of more than 40% in several countries). Long-term youth unemployment is still at record highs.
- The EU youth unemployment rate is more than double the overall unemployment rate (20% compared with 9%) and masks big differences between countries: there is a gap of more than 40 percentage points between the Member State with the lowest rate of youth unemployment (Germany at 7%) and the Member States with the highest rates, Greece (50%) and Spain (49%).
- Overall employment rates for young people fell by more than four percentage points between 2008 and 2014 (from 37.3% to 32.5%) – about eight times as much as for adults.
- More than 7 million people in the 15-24 age group are neither in employment nor in education or training (NEETs).
- 11% of those aged 18-24 are early school leavers.
- High youth unemployment co-exists sometimes with increased difficulties in filling vacancies. This points to the existence of labour market mismatches, due to inadequate skills, limited geographic mobility or inadequate wage conditions.