Purpose: Challenges for youth being Not in Employment, Education, or Training (NEET) in India are enormous in quantitative terms and multidimensional in qualitative terms. Therefore, this study aims to underpin the vulnerability of youth in the Indian labour market by investigating the magnitude and heterogeneity of NEET youth and how it has evolved during the Neo-liberal paradigm of the Indian economy.
Design/methodology/approach: National Sample Survey data on employment and unemployment of 50th round (1993/94), 55th round (1999/00), 61st round (2004/05), 68th round (2011/12), and Periodic Labour Force Survey (2017/18 and 2018/19) have been used to estimate the magnitude and determinants of NEET youth in India. Subsequently, the estimates of the relative contributions of socio-economic background characteristics in defining the NEET status of the Indian youth have been assessed by using logistic regression and its marginal effects.
Findings: The findings implicate that post-2011/12, India’s NEET youth has been observed to increase significantly. Further, the study reveals that the intensity of being a NEET youth in India is high among the younger generation with background characteristics of 20-24 age group, female, illiterate, no vocational training, and residing in households with low economic status.
Social Implications: This study contributes to identifying and re-integrating disengaged youth from the Indian labour market.
Originality/value: Over more than three decades, a study on NEET concept has gone missing from India’s youth-centric policies, especially during the neo-liberal period. Hence, this study is a step forward from India’s youth labour market’s other indicators and contributes to the country’s policy perspective on re-integrating the NEET youth.
Keywords: Labour market; Not in Employment, Education or Training (NEET); School-to-Work Transition; (Un)Employment; Youth