The article analyzes the basic characteristics of Russian youth excluded from employment and education, known as NEET youth (NEET means “not in employment, education, or training”). Data from the 2014 Population Survey on Problems of Employment serve as the empirical basis. In Russia, one out of every eight young people aged 15 to 24 years is both unemployed and not in school. A low level of education and a lack of work experience are the basic factors significantly increasing an individual’s likelihood of belonging to the NEET group and extending the duration of any period of idleness. Young people with health problems form a special risk group that is almost completely excluded from employment and has extremely limited potential for receiving a professional education. The labor potential of economically inactive Russian NEET youth is low. Using ILO methodology, only one-tenth of young people in this group can be classified as members of the potential labor force.