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This edition of Education at a Glance comes at a time when youth unemployment keeps policy makers awake at night. Between 2008 and 2011 – the years to which most data in this volume refer – unemployment rates climbed steeply in most countries and have remained high ever since. Young people have been particularly hard -hit by un- and underemployment as a result of the global recession. In 2011, the average proportion of 15-29 year-olds neither in employment nor in education or training (NEET) across OECD countries was 16%; among 25-29 year-olds, 20% were NEET. (Among this latter group, 40% were unemployed, more than half of them for more than six months; the rest did not participate in the labour market at all.) In some countries the figures are much higher, with more than one in three people between the ages of 25 and 29 neither in education nor in work. These young people are forced to pay a very high price for a crisis that was not of their making, with long-lasting consequences for their skills, work morale and social integration. The demoralising short‑term effects for individuals, families and communities demand urgent policy responses, while the longerterm ramifications, in terms of skills loss, scarring effects and de-motivation, are real and affect countries’potential for sustainable recovery.

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