REPORT: PWC Young Workers Index, Oct 2016

Resource Type: 
Publication Date: 
Oct, 2016

Key findings

Our new research shows how well each of the OECD countries are developing the economic potential of youth and how this has changed over time. We also estimate the potential economic gain from getting young people into employment, education or training. Here are five key findings you need to know:

·         Switzerland continues to top the table, closely followed by Germany and Austria. The Nordic countries also perform strongly but Southern European countries like Spain, Greece and Italy fare less well. 

·         The total economic gain across the OECD could be over $1 trillion from improving performance of younger workers in the long-term.

·         The UK fell 1 place in the rankings between 2006 and 2014, from 21st place to 22nd but more recently recovered to its original position in 2015. 

·         If the UK could lower NEET rates to German levels, GDP could be around 2.3% higher in the long run, equivalent to around £45 billion at today's values.

·         Governments could learn from other countries such as Germany, who have engaged employers in order to introduce 'dual education systems' and focus on social inclusion in their youth policy. 


The statistics in our research reveal some important trends. But we shouldn't forget that these trends will have a long-term impact on the life opportunities of real people on the ground. We've provided four illustrative examples below of how the experience of young people can vary across countries. These are hypothetical cases, but reflect aspects of our research findings for each of these countries.

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Workforce Development
Training & Capacity