NEET by choice? Investigating the links between motherhood and NEET status (2014)

It is tempting for policy-makers to subtract young mothers aged 15 to 24 from the NEET group, assuming young mothers have intentionally disengaged with employment, education and training due to their involvement in a caregiving role. This paper tests this assumption and identifies that not all NEET young mothers are out of the labour force by choice. 

We find that nearly half of young mothers aged 15-24 are in education and/or employment, and therefore not classified as NEET. Unemployment rates for single mothers aged 15-24 are higher than for single females, partnered females without children and partnered mothers. This indicates that single mothers are experiencing greater difficulty securing work than other women in their age group.

This paper was presented at the Labour Employment and Work Conference 2014.