Scholarly article on topic 'Methods to Estimate the Structure and Size of the “Neet” Youth'

Methods to Estimate the Structure and Size of the “Neet” Youth Academic research paper on "Economics and business"

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Abstract of research paper on Economics and business, author of scientific article — Mariana Bălan

Abstract In 2013, in EU-27, were employed only 46.1% of the young people aged 15-29 years, this being the lowest figure ever recorded by Eurostat statistics. In Romania, in the same year, were employed only 40.8% of the young people aged 15-29 years. According to Eurostat, in 2013, in Europe, over 8 million young people aged 15-29 were excluded from the labour market and the education system. This boosted the rate of NEET population, aged 15-29, from the 13% level recorded in 2008 to 15.9% in 2013, with significant variations between the Member States: less than 7.5% in the Netherlands, more than 20% in Bulgaria, Croatia, Italy, Greece and Spain. In Romania, under the impact of the financial crisis, the rate of NEET population increased from 13.2% in 2008 to 19.1% in 2011 and 19.6% in 2013. This paper presents a brief analysis of the labour market in the European Union and the particularities of the youth labour market in Romania. It analyses, for the pre-crisis period and under its impact, the structure, the education and the gender composition of NEET groups. Some stochastic methods are used to estimate the structure and size of the NEET rates and of the youth unemployment rate in Romania.

Academic research paper on topic "Methods to Estimate the Structure and Size of the “Neet” Youth"

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Economics and Finance

Procedía

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Procedía Economics and Finance 32 (2015) 119 - 124

www.elsevier.com/locate/procedia

Emerging Markets Queries in Finance and Business

Methods to estimate the structure and size of the "neet" youth

Mariana Balan*

The Institute of National Economy, Casa Academiei Romane, Calea 13 Septembrie nr. 13, Bucharest, 050711, Romania

Abstract

In 2013, in EU-27, were employed only 46.1% of the young people aged 15-29 years, this being the lowest figure ever recorded by Eurostat statistics. In Romania, in the same year, were employed only 40.8% of the young people aged 15-29 years. According to Eurostat, in 2013, in Europe, over 8 million young people aged 15-29 were excluded from the labour market and the education system. This boosted the rate of NEET population, aged 15-29, from the 13% level recorded in 2008 to 15.9% in 2013, with significant variations between the Member States: less than 7.5% in the Netherlands, more than 20% in Bulgaria, Croatia, Italy, Greece and Spain. In Romania, under the impact of the financial crisis, the rate of NEET population increased from 13.2% in 2008 to 19.1% in 2011 and 19.6% in 2013. This paper presents a brief analysis of the labour market in the European Union and the particularities of the youth labour market in Romania. It analyses, for the pre-crisis period and under its impact, the structure, the education and the gender composition of NEET groups. Some stochastic methods are used to estimate the structure and size of the NEET rates and of the youth unemployment rate in Romania.

© 2015 Published by Elsevier B.V. Thisisanopenaccess article under theCCBY-NC-NDlicense (http://creativecommons.Org/licenses/by-nc-nd/4.0/).

Selection and peer-review under responsibility of AsociatiaGrupulRoman deCercetariinFinanteCorporatiste Keywords: youth; NEET rates; youth unemployment rates; stochastic models

1. Introduction

In the current context of economic instability, youths are faced with the emergence of a feeling of uncertainty with respect to their own chances of having a 'good debut' in the labour market. The world crisis, the social reality with which are faced all societies brought again to the forefront the idea of youths' fragility in the labour market.

* Corresponding author. Tel.: +40-746-145-305 E-mail address: dr.mariana.balan@gmail.com.

2212-5671 © 2015 Published by Elsevier B.V. This is an open access article under the CC BY-NC-ND license (http://creativecommons.Org/licenses/by-nc-nd/4.0/).

Selection and peer-review under responsibility of Asociatia Grupul Roman de Cercetari in Finante Corporatiste doi: 10.1016/S2212-5671 (15)01372-6

The unemployment rate among youths at world level was of 12.6% in 2013. Informal employment among youths remains omnipresent and transitions to decent jobs are slow and difficult to achieve. In the same year, at European Union level, the unemployment rate among youths was of 23.4%. Within this context, reaching the objective of a labour force employment of 75% for the population with ages between 20 and 64 years of age, according to the Europe 2020 Strategy requires the improvement of measures/means of youths' transition to the labour market.

The statistics regarding youths' participation to labour market does not reflect precisely their circumstances because many of them are students and, as result, they don't consider themselves as belonging to the labour force. Consequently, it could be said that the traditional indicators of labour market participation have a limited relevance in the case of the youths.

In this context, the decision factors within the EU use increasingly more the concept of 'NEET' - not in employment, education or training. The category of the NEET youths refers to persons with ages between 15 and 29 years who, irrespective of their level of studies are not employed and do not follow any educational programme, hence being expose to higher risks of social and labour market exclusion.

According to the latest Eurostat estimates, in the year 2013, the percentage of youths at EU-28 level who are not employed and do not follow any educational or vocational training programme increased to 15.9% for the population with ages between 15 and 29 years of age. In Romania, 19.6% from young individuals with ages between 15 and 29 years of age are included in the 'NEET' group.

Youths' unemployment, the 'NEET' status, as well as the circumstances in which youths are forced to give up searching for a job, or forced to work in inadequate conditions have a strong impact on the economy of a society, on the families of these youths, and on their personal and professional development, and on the society at large. The lack of decent jobs in particular if this situation arises shortly after graduating some form of education might compromise the future of a person, the professional perspectives of the respective individual and more often than not leads to social exclusion.

The paper presents a brief characterisation of the labour force market at the level of the European Union and an analysis of the particularities of the labour market for youths in Romania. For the NEET group are analysed the structure, educational levels and the structure on genders.

Stochastic techniques are used for estimating the NEET rate among the young population with ages between 15 and 24 years of age from Romania and a short-term forecast is made for this phenomenon.

2. Short Characterisation of Youths' Labour Market

The trends regarding the insertion of youths on the labour market are of particular worrying concern in Europe where the unemployment rate among youths reached a historic high in the year 2013 increasing by almost two-thirds against 2008, according to Eurostat.

In Greece, the majority of youths (58.6%) did not have a job at the end of 2013, and in Spain almost 55.7%. The same unemployment rate for youth was of 40% and in Romania 23.6%.

The statistical data of the National Institute of Statistics from Romania [3] indicate that our country in Q4 2013 had a number of young unemployed registered with the State's institution of 180.199 individuals. The unemployment rate among youths registers higher values for the age category 15 to 19 years of age, and 20 to 24 years of age differentiated on genders (Figure 1).

Often, the participation to the labour market is described by indicators such as employment rates and unemployment rate. These provide information about those who already have a job or are actively seeking a job. In the current conjecture, the integration of youths in the society can no longer follow the traditional and linear path and model (as a succession of steps from school to job), and hence is replaced by diversified and individualised trajectories from school to job. Thus, traditional approaches regarding the analysis of youths' vulnerable position in the labour market are no longer efficient, as many of these transitions are not highlighted by the conventional indicators of the labour force market.

Male Female

Female 7%

Male 25 - 29 ani

Female 29%

Female 16%

Male -20 - 24 ani 12%

Fig. 1. Unemployment rate on age groups and genders, Q4 2013 in Romania

Therefore, researchers, national and international authorities began to use alternative concepts and indicators for characterising and analysing the situation of the youths on the labour force market. For individuals aged between 15 and 29 years of age and who, irrespective of their educational level, are not employed or in educational or vocational training and hence exposed to a higher risk of social and labour market exclusion was coined the NEET concept (not in employment, education or training).

According to the latest Eurostat estimates, in 2013, the percentage of youths who are not vocationally employed and do not follow any educational or vocational training increased to 15.9% from the population with ages between 15 and 29 years of age in EU-28. This percentage varies significantly from one member-state to the other: from 7.1% in the Netherlands, to 29.9% in Greece and 26% in Italy. In Romania the NEET rate for youths with ages between 15 and 29 years of age decreased from 21% in the year 2004 to 13.2% in the year 2008 and increased to 19.6% in the year 2013 .

The recession affected most the young population and the NEET rates started to increase again. From the beginning of the recession, the NEET rate increased in all member-states, but in Austria, Germany and Luxemburg, it registered a yearly decrease after the year 2009.

In the NEET group are included youths, irrespective of their educational level. The analysis of the educational level of youths from among the NEET group indicates that those with an inferior educational level are over-represented in the NEET group. The analysis of the data regarding the NEET population structure with ages between 15 to 29 years of age in 2013 shows that in Spain the youths with an inferior educational level represented about 13.9% from total NEET population. In countries like Italy, Portugal, Bulgaria, Hungary, Romania and Greece, the NEET population with a lower educational level is higher than the EU-28 average. In Greece, Cyprus, Croatia, Italy, Bulgaria and Slovakia more than 15% of the NEET population with ages between 15 and 29 years of age are higher education graduates.

An entire series of factors hinder and delay the access of youth to the labour market. From among these, following can be mentioned: i) the lack of information, of access to social networks and absence of links between youths; ii) the lack of competences relevant for the job; iii) the lack of jobs that require entry level competences; iv) the lack of experience and recommendations that would increase companies' confidence in

employable youths.

Extending the NEET status for a longer period can lead to high varieties of unfavourable social conditions: isolation, uncertain and low-wage employment, criminality and physical and mental health issues, failing to build a family or divorce, etc. Each of these consequences attracts a certain cost and, as result, the NEET status does not represent only an issue for the respective person, but also for the society and economy as a whole.

The effects of the crisis and of the austerity measures on the youths' labour market determined next to youths' migration from Central and Eastern Europe to the Western countries, a similar movement to take place for very many higher education graduates from the Western countries as they break with their own cultural matrix in seeking a job.

3. Estimates and Forecast Methods for Structure and Size of the Young NEET Population

3.1. Brief Literature Review

In the last decade an increasingly higher number of experts have analysed the determinant factors and consequences of the NEET status among youths by focusing mainly on high income countries.

Bynner and Parsons (2002) have identified in their developed studies a series of risk factors in becoming a NEET in Great Britain: the socio-economic fund of the family, parental education, the interest of parents in child's education, the area of residence and the educational level for children .

Maguire and Rennison (2005) consider that the measures adopted by governmental bodies subsidising youths to remain in the educational system have a positive impact on diminishing the numbers of youths going through the NEET state .

Based on the data on households from Great Britain, France, Germany, Spain, Portugal, Italy and Greece, Robson (2010) realised correlations between their level and the NEET status among the youths with ages between 16 and 24 years of age. The obtained results highlighted a strong connection between the indicators taken into account.

The analyses performed by Franzen and Kassman (2005) in Sweden in the year 2003 have identified a strong correlation between the NEET status and the training level and the origin of youths.

A series of the NEET phenomenon studies have been realised in Japan, as well, and these showed that youths with a low level of education and from poor families are those with most chances of ending in jobs with precarious working conditions and hence, the chances of leaving these jobs increase.

3.2. Stochastic Techniques of Analysing the NEET Rate Evolution

International statistics contain data referring to the size and structure of NEET youths for a relatively short period of time. Therefore, a more accurate evaluation of this phenomenon in the specialised literature is realised by stochastic techniques.

Models of shifting from one status to the other are used by means of a transition matrix. In some models employed within the specialised literature three initial states and three destination states are considered: the employment state (youths in the labour market), youths enrolled in the educational system and NEET youths. Sometimes, the estimates might also consider other states, such as youths that are comprised in the educational system and in the labour market as well, or unemployed youths.

If the long term estimates are useful for evaluating the entire dynamics of the youths' activities, still these deliver few information about individual transitions and, in particular with respect to the role that the NEET status plays in such transitions. In general, a simple way of describing youths' mobility from one state to the other is by means of the transition matrix in which each element indicates the probability conditioned by finding an individual in the state y, y e {1,2, 3, 4, 5} at the moment t +1, conditioned by the fact that at the time t to be in the state x, x e {1,2, 3, 4, 5} .As result, is computed the probability conditioned by the transition

from the state x to the state y, as relationship between the numbers of persons that were in the x state and shifted to the y state between the moments in time t and t +1, that is:

P = = y|St = x)= P(St = xnSt+i = y) (

Pxy = P(St = x) (1)

where:

St indicates the state at the time t. The marginal probabilities are measured by the weight of the youths in each state at the time t and t +1. By definition the sum of elements in each row of the matrix of transition is equal to one. For analysing the structure and size of the NEET population from Romania with ages between 15 and 29 years of age were used data regarding the following indicators: the numbers of youths employed; the number of individuals in the educational system; the number of persons employed and in one or another educational form; the unemployment rate among youths; the NEET rate for the period 2005-2013. For the case of Romania, the matrix of conditioned probabilities (Table 1) for the sample of all youths with ages between 15 and 29 years of age indicates a high degree of persistence of the status for labour force employment and education: approximately 85% of the youths from each state are found in the same status after one year. The persistence is smaller in the labour force employment state and education (39%).

Table 1 The matrix of conditioned probabilities

State 1 2 3 4 5

1 Employment only 0.83 0.03 0.03 0.08 0.03

2 Education only 0.04 0.84 0.07 0.04 0.02

3 Employment and education 0.15 0.36 0.39 0.04 0.06

4 Unemployment 0.43 0.19 0.12 0.19 0.07

5 NEET 0.28 0.07 0.02 0.05 0.58

With respect to unemployment, only 19% of the youths remain in this state more than one year. The highest share of the youths in the NEET state originates in those who lose their jobs and those leaving the educational system and unemployed (Table 1). The majority of youths exiting the NEET status enter on the labour market. The transition matrices provide information on the mobility between stats, but youths can follow various transition paths from the state x at the time t and the state y one year later. The analysis requires individual sequences, or trajectories known for a period of time, a measure of the distance between individual trajectories, but also a rule for identifying similar trajectories. The average stay in each state can be computed as the reverse of the conditioned probability of remaining in the respective state. Formally:

Dx =T^~ (2)

1 - nxx

where nxx is the number of stayers in the state x between the moments in time t and t +1.

Thus, for the population segment with ages between 15 and 29 years of age from Romania was determined an average time of stay in each considered state. The average employment period on the labour market was computed as being of 6.3 years for men and 3 years for women. In the educational system, women stay for 5 or 6 years and men 4.5 years. In the NEET state, young women stay a much longer time period than men (3 years against 1.3 years for men). As result, the persistence degree in the NEET state is substantially higher for young women.

Conclusions

The world crisis, the social reality facing all societies brought to the forefront the idea of youths' fragility on the labour market. The high level of unemployment among youths is representative and has two major influences: the decrease in the employment chances of the youths in general, and the diminishment of the

economic development opportunities, both at national and global level. Unemployment among youth generates effects on long term both on the income and stability of the job, because youths affected by unemployment have a low level of credibility and are not as confident and flexible when faced with employment opportunities, thus developing with more difficulties from the vocational viewpoint. The youths' labour market in Romania is in a continuing decline for the last years, the unemployment rate for this population segment increasing in the period 2008-2013 from 11.8% to 15.9%. Because the traditional indicators regarding youths' participation on the labour market have a limited relevance for analyses and forecasts, the NEET concept was implemented. This concept describes and analysis youths' vulnerability on the labour market. The studies realised by various international bodies have highlighted the fact that NEET youths represent a very heterogeneous group.

European statistics indicate that, in average, the NEET rate among women is higher than for men, as well as for youths with a low education level. The NEET population structures differ from one member-state to the other. One of the methods use within the specialised literature for analysing the structure and size of the NEET population is the one of transition probabilities. The use of these techniques for Romania has allowed for estimating the persistence degree in one of the states: employed, in education, employed and in education, unemployed or NEET. In the NEET state, 58% of the youths stay for more than one year. With respect to the duration, in years, corresponding to each state, estimates have shown that it can be of up to 3 years for women, and 1.3 years for men. For youths, an increase of the period in the state NEET might have severe individual consequences, but also in the community in which he/she is both on short- and long-term. These consequences can be of financial nature, but also of social nature: isolation, involvement in risks related to unstable behaviour both from the physical and mental viewpoint.

Acknowledgement

This paper is made and published under the aegis of the Research Institute for Quality of Life, Romanian Academy as a part of programme co-funded by the European Union within the Operational Sectorial Programme for Human Resources Development through the project for Pluri and interdisciplinary in doctoral and post-doctoral programmes Project Code: POSDRU/159/1.5/S/141086

References

*** European Commission, 2010, Europe 2020: A strategy for smart, sustainable and inclusive growth, C0M(2010) 2020 final, Brussels, www.ec.europa.eu;

*** Eurostat statistics, www.eu-employment-observatory.net.

*** TEMPO-online time serie, National Institute of Statistics from Romania.

*** Eurofound, 2012, Recent policy developments related to those not in employment, education and training (NEETs), Eurofound, Dublin, www.eurofound.europa.eu.

Bynner J., Parsons S., 2002, Social Exclusion and the Transition from School to Work: The Case of Young People Not in Education, Employment, or Training (NEET), Journal of Vocational Behaviour, 60(2), p.289-309.

Maguire S., Rennison J., 2005, Two Years On: The Destinations of Young People who are Not in Education or Training at 16, Journal of Youth Studies, 8(2), p.187- 201.

Robson K., 2010, The Afterlife of NEETs. In: Attewell, Paul; Newman, Katherine S. (eds) Growing Gaps: Educational Inequality Around the World. Oxford University Press, p. 181—.

Franzen E. M., Kassman A., 2005, Longer-term labour market consequences of economic inactivity during young adulthood - A Swedish national cohort study. Journal of Youth Studies 8, p. 403-424.

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