The proportion of people aged 16-24 who were not in any sort of work, training or educational programme fell from 16.4 per cent to 15.1 per cent in the same period, having peaked at 17 per cent in autumn 2011.
A narrow majority of young people in this category are actively looking for work, with 53 per cent also included in unemployment figures. The other 47 per cent, making up some half a million people, are not currently seeking employment. There are more than twice the number of economically inactive women in this age group than men.
However, the number of young people in the Neet category ticked up in the first quarter when compared with the last three months of 2012, rising by 21,000.
This closely matches the weaker situation for employment in general at the start of the year. Despite a strong performance in 2012, the labour market has recently appeared to be weaker.
Youth unemployment for the first quarter of 2013 was announced earlier this month and reached 668,000. This figure excludes 16-24 year olds who are also training or in education.