The article examines the questions, how many young people in Austria have been affected by NEET status, which socio-structural characteristics they display and what the causes for an increased NEET risk are. Furthermore, the study investigates what the decisive factors are for a (successful) exit from a NEET situation. To answer these research questions, a multiple-method approach has been chosen, which is based on quantitative and qualitative elements. It will be shown that in the period from 2006 to 2012 on average about 78,000 young people in Austria aged between 16 and 24 were affected by disintegration within the meaning of NEET status.
However, the number of NEET youths very much depends on economic trends; hence it significantly increased during the crisis years of 2009 and 2010. An increased NEET risk is shared by early school leavers, (female) youths with care responsibilities, youths of the first migration generation, youths whose parents have a lower level of education and youths, living in urban areas. However, many of the socio-structural characteristics do not have a direct but only an indirect impact on the NEET status. The NEET group is very heterogeneous and equally diverse are the causes, requirements and problems. Early school leaving has been identified as the main direct cause of the NEET status. In order to reduce the NEET rate, the contribution calls for low-threshold measures and take the individual requirements of young people into account. Other proposals include measures for (new) target groups, measures to network and coordinate relevant actors and measures at regional level as well as measures to continue to further develop active labour market policy.