© Marcel Crozet / ILO

Statistics on youth

Table of Contents


In many countries, the youth labour situation is worrisome. Informality and vulnerable employment remain an unfortunate reality for the majority of employed youth around the world. Moreover, when they are not in employment, youth face difficulties accessing the labour market. This is reflected in high youth unemployment rates, high NEET (not in employment, education or training) rates, and the often difficult transition from school to work.

In the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development, the international community committed to increase youth employment opportunities and to substantially reduce the proportion of youth not in education, employment or training (SDG 8.6). In this context, detailed labour statistics on youth provide vital information to support governments and civil society in their efforts to design, implement and monitor policies to promote better youth employment outcomes.

Data catalogue

Below is a subset of the indicators available on youth, which is defined as persons ages 15 to 29 in the Youth Labour Market Statistics (YouthSTATS) database only. For all available indicators by age, which includes a category for persons ages 15 to 24, refer to the data page.


The ILO project to produce comprehensive national data on youth in the labour market, including indicators on the transition from school to work, was possible thanks to the support of the Mastercard Foundation.


School-to-work transition indicators provide a detailed classification of young people’s transition path into the labour market, shedding light on employment prospects for youth and barriers to young people’s access to decent jobs. There are two main indicators: the school-to-work transition stage and the school-to-work transition form.

The school-to-work transition stage classifies youth into three groups according to their stage in the transition: transited, in transition, and transition not yet started. According to this classification, a person has not “transited” until they are settled in a job that meets very basic criteria of stability or satisfaction. The transited population is subdivided according to two types of transition: (1) youth transited in a stable job; and (2) youth transited in satisfactory self-employment or a satisfactory temporary job.

The school-to-work transition form indicator classifies those youth that are “in transition” into four forms: those that are (1) in school and currently in the labour force (employed or not employed but available and looking for a job); (2) not in school and unemployed (looking and available for a job); (3) not in school and currently employed in a temporary and unsatisfactory job; and (4) not in school but with the intention to be employed in the future. In addition, the youth population that has not yet started the transition is classified into those who (1) are still in school and outside the labour force (not employed and not available and/or looking for a job); and those who are (2) not in school, outside the labour force and with no intention of looking for a job.

Dedicated school-to-work transition surveys typically provide the most detailed and comprehensive data on the school-to-work transition. However, as most countries don’t conduct these special surveys on a regular basis, the ILO derived a methodology for obtaining estimates of school-to-work transition indicators from existing national labour force surveys. Although not all national labour force surveys include the questions needed to obtain school-to-work transition statistics, many surveys are fit for this purpose and can provide reliable and continuous insights on young persons’ transition experience. The school-to-work transition data published on ILOSTAT are derived from the ILO’s stock of harmonized national labour force survey microdatasets.



Note: Many publications are available only in English. If available in other languages, a new page will open displaying the options on the right. 

From school to work: An analysis of youth labour market transitions

This brief presents an analysis of youth labour market outcomes, with a particular focus on two new school-to-work transition indicators published on ILOSTAT. It first introduces the new indicators. It then analyses the distribution of youth by stages of transition across a set of 60 countries for which the ILO has derived indicators from national labour force survey microdatasets.

Labour market access – a persistent challenge for youth around the world

The fifth issue of our series Spotlight on work statistics uses the first ever global estimates of youth not in employment, education or training along with other youth labour market indicators to explore the situation of youth in labour markets around the world, and unveil the additional challenges they face.

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Use the search box and filters above the table

Use the search box to enter key words; use quotes around your term for better results. Available filters differ depending on the catalogue. Selecting a frequency allows users to find monthly, quarterly, or annual indicators. While all indicators are available for annual periods, only a subset are available as monthly or quarterly. 

Options to access data

Data Explorer

This tool provides an intuitive interface to filter the selection, pivot the table, calculate distributions and growth rates, and export data into various formats.

Excel summary

Data available in the Excel summary files are for indicators only (not available for countries or regions) for selected classification items for 2010 onward for annual data and 2018 onward for short-term indicators. For historical data or additional classifications, either use the Data Explorer or download the CSV file. 

Country profiles

Available in the country catalogue only, this option takes users to the country profiles page with the selected country pre-filtered in the table. Highlighting the latest year available for key indicators, this is a subset of the available data for a given country.

Zipped csv (gz)

Download a zipped CSV file (gzip) to get data in bulk. These files contain only codes. Download the dictionary with labels here

There are other options to access data in the data tools section

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