The category of not in employment, education or training (NEET) refers to young people who are recorded as neither in paid employment nor formal education either at one time point, or for a continuous period. This article assesses levels of employment scarring for those aged 36–39, at Census 2011 (prime employment years) who were recorded as NEET when aged 16–19 at Census 1991 in Scotland. Outcomes are compared for those who moved from NEET into economic activity and by gender. We find evidence that NEET status leads to long-term scarring associated with economic inactivity and unemployment and that this is only partially offset for those who moved from NEET in 1991 to be economically active in 2001. The results also highlight gendering of NEET outcomes. NEET may be a category borne of administrative convenience, rather than sociological consistency but, as intended, it captures a group who experience disadvantage.