Young people not working, in school or training: What were they doing?

Release date: February 13, 2019 Correction date: February 15, 2018

Correction Notice

The number of Canadians aged 15 to 29 who were not in employment, education or training (NEET) was corrected to 779,000 from 779,00 in the English version.

Young people not working, in school or training: What were they doing?
Young people not working, in school or training: What were they doing?

Young people not working, in school or training: What were they doing?

In September 2018, 779,000 Canadians aged 15 to 29 were not in employment, education or training (NEET). This represented 11.3% of people in this age category.

Women aged 25 to 29 most likely to be NEET (16.4%).

Almost 4 in 10 NEET women in this age group reported that their main activity in the past 12 months was caring for children.Footnote 1

Giving back

About 3 in 10 NEET individuals had volunteered for a group or organization to some extent in the past 12 months.

Percentage of NEET individuals who had volunteered for a group or organization to some extent in the past 12 months, by frequency
Frequency Percentage
At least once a week 8.9%
At least once a month 5.1%
A few times in the past 12 months 15.2%
Not at all in the past 12 months 70.9%
Total 100%

Almost 5 in 10 young NEET people had provided unpaid help to others.

About 1%Footnote 2 of NEET reported volunteering or care-giving other than for children as their main activity in the past 12 months.

Health concerns

A little more than 1 in 10 NEET individuals said that a physical or mental health concern or disability had kept them from working, going to school, or doing some other main activity.

More than half of NEET youth in September 2018 had worked or gone to school in the past 12 months.Footnote 3

Main activity of NEET youth in the past 12 months
Main activity Percentage
Looking for paid work 8.2%
Own illness or disability 11.5%
Other activities 13.3%
Caring for children 14.4%
Going to school 26.5%
Employed 26.1%

Source: Statistics Canada, Labour Force Survey. For more information, see article "Young people not in employment, education or training (NEET)–what did they do in the past 12 months?" available online in the Labour Statistics at a Glance series (71-222-X).

Date modified: