Covid-19 Effects on European Youth: Employment and NEETs


The committee on Employment and Social Affairs (EMPL), part of the European Parliament, has just published a fresh new study on the state-of-the-art of the Covid-19 pandemic’s effects toward European youth, taking into consideration the employment status and the NEETs phenomenon.

Covid-19 Effects on Youth Employment

The study is an analysis of the impact of the COVID-19 crisis on young people, providing up-to-date information on their economic and social situation, with a focus on employment.

covid effects on youth

Young people have particularly felt the effects of the Covid-19 pandemic in terms of employment, education, training and mental well-being.

The vulnerability of young people comes either from:

  • temporary contracts of employment, or
  • working in the most affected sectors, such as retail, hospitality and tourism.

Moreover, the effects of Covid-19 were not limited to employment and in spreading the NEET phenomenon, as they hit also the school and education sectors, because of closures and restrictions over training opportunities.

The study analyses the effects of COVID-19 on youth unemployment, inactivity, social exclusion, work-based learning and mental health, plus NEETs generation. The analysis goes on the basis of quantitative indicators and qualitative information from policy documents. It discusses the probability of longer-term “scarring effects” comparing the impact of the current crisis to impacts observed during and in the aftermath of the global financial crisis in 2008/2009.

Key Results

Youth employment and unemployment rates developed in waves reflecting lockdown and containment periods. Although rates recovered since the first quarter of 2021, the EU youth employment rate was still lower and the EU unemployment rate still higher than before the onset of the crisis.

See the full report.

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