The benchmark ‘Neet’ rate – the proportion of 16- to 18-year-olds not in employment, education or training – is sharply up on a year ago, emphasising recession has affected young people disproportionately. The rise in the Neet level to almost 12 per cent in the second quarter also points to a gloomy outlook for the many teenagers who have left school this summer. Analysts are particularly worried about young people failing to get into work or training, because research suggests they are often damaged for life – at least in economic terms. The news that the most commonly used Neet rate continues to rise will disappoint civil servants because local authorities had finally seemed to be getting a grip on the problem on the eve of recession. It fell year-on-year in the second quarters of 2014 and 2015. Yesterday’s official figures also showed the absolute number of 18- to 24-year-olds not in employment, education or training increased to its highest level since comparable records began in 2005, climbing by 105,000 year-on-year to 835,000.