The jobless growth phenomenon of 2000s followed by global financial crisis, increasing automation with industry 4.0 and finally the pandemic created a hostile and highly challenging labor market for the new entrants. Especially over the past decade the labor demand fell short in providing employment opportunities for new graduates, and high youth unemployment rates have resulted with a mounting share of young NEET (Not in Education, Employment or Training) population losing faith in finding a job or studying for it. The pandemic has further contributed to this negative trend not only by showing that the youth is the most vulnerable group to job losses but also by generating huge discrepancies across socio-economic groups in access to education which is reflected in high rates of school drop-outs. Idleness and hopelessness of young people on the verge of their potentials is a concerning topic at multiple levels. It not only indicates an inefficient labor market policy but also is an alarming development indicator as it comes with intolerable social costs for today and for tomorrow. The objective of this study is to provide a holistic picture of the NEET prevalence in Turkey in comparison with the European countries and to address commonalities as well as differences. The study will draw conclusions from data analysis based on Eurostat data and Household Labor Force Survey data and complement it with a desk review of relevant field studies to better situate the extent of the problem.
Anahtar Kelimeler: NEET, Labor market, Youth Unemployment, NEET in Turkey