'Early School Leavers' Face Dismal Social And Economic Prospects : The Two-Way Forty million young people in the world's largest economies are neither in school, employed nor in any kind of training program. They're called NEETs. Economists say they are a big problem.

'Early School Leavers' Face Dismal Social And Economic Prospects

People stand in line to register for a job fair in Miami Lakes, Fla. A new study shows a growing number of young people in developed countries are giving up on work, school and training. Lynne Sladky/AP hide caption

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Lynne Sladky/AP

People stand in line to register for a job fair in Miami Lakes, Fla. A new study shows a growing number of young people in developed countries are giving up on work, school and training.

Lynne Sladky/AP

Add to the list of worrisome economic trends what economists call "NEETs" — young people who are Not in Education, Employment or Training.

More young people are living at home with their parents, than at anytime since the Great Depression. That's what a biennial report from The Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development says.

This is where a joke about kids living in their folks basement would normally go. The idea of the "adult child" failing to launch is a comedic trope. There is even a decade old movie, with a shirtless Matthew McConaughey.

Their numbers are growing, now 40 million in the 35 member countries of the OECD — the Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development. And two-thirds of them are not actively looking for work.

The figures come from the biennial OECD report, Society at a Glance 2016.

However, while the report highlights some of those traditional laments about failed attempts at "adulting". This report follows others that illustrate how economic collapse disproportionately effected young people. It points to factor that could affect economic mobility, as well as national and economic security for years to come.

The OECD says about 40 million young people in the OECD countries (35 members that cooperate around issues of economic development) are not in education, employment or training. These are what the group calls "NEETs" and 15 percent of the youth age 15 to 29 fall into that category.

In the United States, 14.4 percent of young people age 15-29 are NEETs, according to the OECD.

This report follows others that illustrate how the Great Recession disproportionately affected young people. It says one in 10 jobs held by workers under 30 have disappeared. And the OECD says the trend could affect economic mobility, as well as national and economic security for years to come.

Economists says "NEETs" are a much bigger and more serious problem than "my kid plays too many video games. "If your parents are doing really well, then going home is no big deal," say Imara Jones an economist who looks at race and gender. Jones points out that nearly 50 percent of American living paycheck to pay check then for a young adult "going home actually puts a tremendous pressure on your family. And it puts a tremendous amount of pressure, added economic pressure, on your family in addition to everything else."

In particular, the report highlights the dismal prospects of "early school leavers," young people who do not complete secondary school.

Across the 35 OECD countries despite the recovery, the youth unemployment rate has stay put since 2010 and today is still below pre-crisis levels. Jones says for as many as one in seven young people "that means that they're totally outside of the economic lifestyle of the country, any kind of life of the country."

The OECD gives a snapshot of the report.

Imara Jones, an economist who looks at race and gender, says for as many as one in seven young people, "that means that they're totally outside of the economic lifestyle of the country, any kind of life of the country."

The OECD gives a snapshot of the report.

The high number of NEETs also represents a major economic cost, estimated at between USD 360 billion and USD 605 billion, equivalent to between 0.9% and 1.5% of OECD GDP.

Young people who finished school at 16, without completing upper secondary education, make up over 30% of NEETs. Foreign-born youth are on average 1.5 times more likely to be NEET than native youth and 2-2.25 times more likely in Germany, Austria, the Netherlands and Norway.

The high number of NEETs also represents a major economic cost, estimated at between USD 360 billion and USD 605 billion, equivalent to between 0.9% and 1.5% of OECD GDP.

"It is getting harder and harder for young people with low skills to find a job, let alone a steady job in today's workplace," said Stefano Scarpetta, OECD Director of Employment, Labour and Social Affairs. "Unless more is done to improve opportunities in education and training for everyone, there is a growing risk of an increasingly divided society."

Young people who finished school at 16, without completing upper secondary education, make up over 30% of NEETs. Foreign-born youth are on average 1.5 times more likely to be NEET than native youth and 2-2.25 times more likely in Germany, Austria, the Netherlands and Norway.