One hundred billion euro is the annual cost to society of young people who are not in employment, education or training, according to the results of a preliminary study published on 3 January by the European Foundation for the Improvement of Living and Working Conditions, Eurofound(1).

The study concerns young people aged 15 to 24 not in employment, education or training (NEET), who consequently face exclusion from the labour market as well as social exclusion. In 2010, an estimated 7.5 million young people were in this situation, or 12.8% of the 15-24 age group in the EU27.

According to Eurofound's Employment and Competitiveness Unit, the NEETs' lack of participation in the labour market in the 21 countries studied (EU27 except for Denmark, France, Finland, Greece, Malta and Sweden) costs 2 billion per week to EU citizens. The yearly total comes to around 100 billion, which corresponds to 1% of their aggregated GDP. At country level, the highest bill is footed by Italy (26 bn) and the United Kingdom (16 bn). In terms of percentage of gross domestic product, Ireland and Bulgaria pay the highest share (more than 2% of GDP), followed by Italy (1.7%). Conversely, the cost of NEETs for Luxembourg and Germany is limited (0.34% and 0.65% of GDP, respectively). These estimates do not include additional costs for health, criminal justice and unpaid taxes on foregone earnings.

The analysis concludes that the reintegration into the labour market of just 10% of NEETs would achieve a yearly savings of 10...

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