The proportion of 16-24-year-olds not in employment, education or training (NEETs) in England rose year-on-year in Q4 2011 for the fourth consecutive year, according to data released today by the Department of Education.
The 0.3 per cent increase from Q4 2010 pushed the total number of 16-24-year-olds out of school or work close to 1m.
Last quarter, 958,000 - or 15.9 per cent - of 16-24-year-olds were NEET, up from 939,000 - 15.6 per cent - in Q4 2010. The Q4 percentage for that age group was 14.9 per cent in 2009, 14.2 per cent in 2008 and 13.2 per cent in 2007.
A government spokesperson said:
The number of young people who are not in education, employment or training has been too high for too long - we are determined to bring the numbers down.
The younger side of the age range saw a larger jump last quarter from a year earlier, with the percentage of 16-18-year-olds classified as NEET increasing - by 1 per cent - to 9.6 per cent. The percentage of individuals ages 19-24 classified as NEET fell by 0.1 per cent from a year earlier, although that number rose from 777,000 to 780,000.
The number of NEETs has been seasonally highest in Q3, and was at its highest ever, at nearly 1.2m, Q3 2011.