In this dramatic period of increasing youth unemployment great attention is paid to the NEETs, those young people who are jobless and not in any form of education or training. In the UK, where this term was conceived, there is a substantial literature and empirical research on NEETs, while in Italy the term has only recently started to be used. The Italian literature appears limited and ambiguous: the term NEET is uncritically employed as an indicator of social exclusion, giving it a legitimation that appears questionable.