A NEET is someone who is Not in Education, Employment, or Training. The acronym NEET originated in the United Kingdom in 1999 and has spread to other countries since then, including the United States, Japan, South Korea and Taiwan.
The classification of a NEET varies from country to country. In the United Kingdom, the classification comprises people aged between 16 and 24 whereas in Japan, it comprises people aged between 15 and 34. Most NEETs under the age of 25 still live with their parents.
Rise in Numbers
Since 2007 the number of NEETs aged below 25 has increased on both sides of the Atlantic. According to the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) in Paris, approximately 15% of young Americans qualified as NEETs in the first quarter of 2011, up from 12% in the same period in 2007. In the 27 E.U. nations as a whole, the figure was 13.2%, up from 11.5% in 2007.
The causes why someone is a NEET differ from person to person. Common causes are family issues, drug addiction, "mental illnesses", job rejections, dropping out of college or high school etc. Some NEETs do not seek jobs and simply want to enjoy the comfort at home, others seek jobs but are unable to work because of bad work-life balance or anxiety. NEETs who suffer from severe anxiety or similar mental illnesses are close to becoming a Hikikomori.
NEETs are strictly against wageslaving, which is the act of working full-time for minimum or low wage. More often than not a wageslave is someone who earns just enough at their job to pay basic expenses. Below is a poem by an anonymous NEET who compares a wageslave's lifestyle to his own.
NEET vs Hikikomori
Although NEETs share similarities with Hikikomoris, they are distinctively different from one another. Hikikomoris are likewise NEETs not employed, not enrolled in school or work-related training, and not engaged in housework. However, in contrast to NEETs, Hikikomoris are shut-ins who isolate themselves entirely from society due to mental illness. NEETs prefer to stay indoors, but unlike Hikikomoris, they are not psycholocially restricted from going outside. Contrary to popular belief, some NEETs go outside and pursue exciting hobbies a wageslave or full-time worker could never pursue due to the time-consuming nature of hobbies.