Young people not in education, employment or training (NEET) and Quarterly Tables

Date published: 28 February 2019

The Labour Force Survey (LFS) young people not in education, employment or training (NEET) results released at 9.30am today indicate that there were 21,000 young people (aged 16 to 24 years) in Northern Ireland who were NEET.

Key points

Not in Education, Employment or Training (NEET)

  • There were 21,000 young people aged 16-24 years in Northern Ireland who were not in education, employment or training (NEET) in October to December 2018. This was equivalent to 10% of all aged 16-24 years.
  • Of the 21,000 who were NEET, 11,000 were male and 9,000 were female.
  • The number of NEETS has been on a general downward trend over the last 5 years and was 28,000 in October to December 2013.
  • In October to December 2018 there were 14,000 young people aged 16-24 years who were not in education, employment or training and who were not looking for work and/or not available to start work (economically inactive). The remainder of those who were not in education, employment or training were looking for work in the previous four weeks and available to start within the next two weeks (unemployed).
  • The proportion of young people who were NEET in the UK was 11%.

Education and Training

  • Persons who were economically active aged 16-64 were more likely to be educated to a higher level than the economically inactive.
  • 29.1% of economically inactive persons had no formal qualifications at October-December 2018, compared with 8.5% of economically active.
  • A higher proportion of younger employees (aged 16-34) received job-related training than older employees (aged 35-64).

Disability and the Labour Market

  • Just over one in five persons (20.8%) of working age in Northern Ireland had a disability.
  • Around 3 times the proportion (30.3%) of disabled persons had no qualifications compared with non-disabled persons (9.7%) at October-December 2018.
  • People without a disability were more than twice as likely to be in employment (80.1%) than those with a disability (34.9%).


  • The number of self-employed people in NI in October-December 2018 was 122,000.
  • The number of self-employed females has increased in the last 10 years, however, only 8.5% of females in employment were self-employed, compared with 19.6% of males.


  • The number of Northern Ireland graduates in Northern Ireland in October-December 2018 was 274,000, a steady increase from 237,000 in October-December 2013.
  • Graduates were most likely to be in professional occupations (49.9%), whereas, non-graduates were most likely to be in other occupations[1] (47.2%).

NEET's and Quarterly Tables are available here


[1] Other occupations include caring, leisure and other services, sales and customer service occupations, process, plant and machine operatives, and elementary occupations.  

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