Economic News Release

College Enrollment and Work Activity of High School Graduates News Release

For release 10:00 a.m. (EDT) Thursday, April 19, 2012              USDL-12-0716

Technical information:  (202) 691-6378  *  cpsinfo@bls.gov  *  www.bls.gov/cps
Media contact:          (202) 691-5902  *  PressOffice@bls.gov


                       COLLEGE ENROLLMENT AND WORK ACTIVITY OF
                             2011 HIGH SCHOOL GRADUATES


In October 2011, 68.3 percent of 2011 high school graduates were enrolled in 
colleges or universities, the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics reported today. 
Recent high school graduates not enrolled in college in October 2011 were more 
likely than enrolled graduates to be working or looking for work (68.7 percent 
compared with 38.8 percent).

Information on school enrollment and work activity is collected monthly in the 
Current Population Survey (CPS), a nationwide survey of about 60,000 households 
that provides information on employment and unemployment. Each October, a 
supplement to the CPS gathers more detailed information about school enrollment, 
such as full- and part-time enrollment status. Additional information about 
the October supplement is included in the Technical Note.

Recent High School Graduates and Dropouts

Of the 3.1 million youth age 16 to 24 who graduated from high school between 
January and October 2011, about 2.1 million (68.3 percent) were enrolled in 
college in October 2011. The college enrollment rate of recent high school 
graduates was slightly lower than the record high set in October 2009 (70.1 
percent). For 2011 graduates, the college enrollment rate was 72.3 percent 
for young women and 64.6 percent for young men. The college enrollment rate 
of Asian graduates (86.7 percent) was higher than for recent white (67.7 
percent), black (67.5 percent), and Hispanic (66.6 percent) graduates. (See 
table 1.)

The labor force participation rate (the proportion of the population working 
or looking for work) for recent high school graduates enrolled in college 
was 38.8 percent. The participation rates for male and female graduates 
enrolled in college were 36.5 and 41.0 percent, respectively.

Among recent high school graduates enrolled in college in October 2011, 91.9 
percent were full-time students. Recent graduates enrolled as full-time 
students were considerably less likely to be in the labor force (35.1 
percent) than were their peers enrolled part time (79.7 percent).

About 6 in 10 recent high school graduates who were enrolled in college 
attended 4-year institutions. Of these students, about a third participated 
in the labor force, compared with about half of recent graduates enrolled in 
2-year colleges.

Recent high school graduates not enrolled in college in the fall of 2011 
were more likely than enrolled graduates to be in the labor force (68.7 
percent compared with 38.8 percent). The unemployment rate for recent high 
school graduates not enrolled in school was 33.6 percent, compared with 21.1 
percent for recent graduates enrolled in college.

Between October 2010 and October 2011, 369,000 young people dropped out of 
high school. The labor force participation rate for recent dropouts (55.5 
percent) was lower than for recent high school graduates not enrolled in 
college (68.7 percent). The jobless rate for recent high school dropouts 
was 38.4 percent, compared with 33.6 percent for recent high school 
graduates not enrolled in college.

All Youth Enrolled in High School or College

In October 2011, 58.5 percent of the nation's 16- to 24-year-olds, or 22.4 
million young people, either were enrolled in high school (9.6 million) or 
in college (12.8 million). The labor force participation rate (39.0 percent) 
of youth enrolled in school was essentially unchanged from October 2010 to 
October 2011. The unemployment rate for this group declined over the year 
from 16.8 percent to 14.2 percent. (See table 2.)

In October 2011, college students continued to be more likely to participate 
in the labor force than high school students (51.8 percent compared with 
22.0 percent). About 85 percent of college students were enrolled full time. 
Those attending college full time had a much lower labor force participation 
rate than did part-time students. Asian college students were less likely to 
participate in the labor force than black, white, or Hispanic college students. 
Female college students were somewhat more likely to be in the labor force 
(53.5 percent) than their male counterparts (50.0 percent). Female high school 
students were also more likely to be in the labor force (24.7 percent) than
were males (19.5 percent).

The unemployment rate for high school students, at 25.2 percent in October 2011, 
was more than twice the rate for college students (10.7 percent). Unemployment 
rates for black (38.8 percent) and Hispanic (36.1 percent) high school students 
continued to be higher than for white high school students (22.6 percent).

All Youth Not Enrolled in School

In October 2011, 15.9 million persons age 16 to 24 were not enrolled in school. 
The labor force participation rate of youth not enrolled in school in October 
2011 was 79.6 percent, little changed from a year earlier. Among youth not 
enrolled in school in October 2011, men continued to be more likely than women 
to participate in the labor force--84.8 percent compared with 74.0 percent. 
Labor force participation rates for not-enrolled men and women were highest for
those with at least a bachelor's degree and lowest for those with less than a 
high school diploma. (See table 2.)

The unemployment rate for youths age 16 to 24 not enrolled in school edged down 
from 18.7 percent in October 2010 to 17.5 percent in October 2011. Among youth 
not in school in October 2011, unemployment rates for those without a high school 
diploma were 19.7 percent for young men and 31.2 percent for young women. In 
contrast, the jobless rates for young men and women with at least a bachelor's 
degree were 9.5 percent and 8.0 percent, respectively. Black youth not enrolled 
in school had an unemployment rate of 28.5 percent in October 2011, higher than 
the rates for their white (15.3 percent), Asian (15.1 percent), and Hispanic (18.5 
percent) counterparts.




Technical Note


   The estimates in this release were obtained from a supplement to the 
October 2011 Current Population Survey (CPS), a monthly survey of about 
60,000 eligible households that provides information on the labor force, 
employment, and unemployment for the nation. The survey is conducted
monthly for the Bureau of Labor Statistics by the U.S. Census Bureau.
Data in this release relate to the school enrollment status of persons
16 to 24 years of age in the civilian noninstitutional population in the
calendar week that includes the 12th of October. Updated population con-
trols for the Current Population Survey are introduced annually with the
release of January data. Additional information about population controls
is available on the BLS Web site at www.bls.gov/cps/documentation.htm#pop.
   
   Information in this release will be made available to sensory
impaired individuals upon request. Voice phone: (202) 691-5200;
Federal Relay Service: (800) 877-8339.
   
Reliability of the estimates

   Statistics based on the CPS are subject to both sampling and
nonsampling error. When a sample, rather than the entire population,
is surveyed, there is a chance that the sample estimates may differ
from the "true" population values they represent. The exact difference,
or sampling error, varies depending on the particular sample selected,
and this variability is measured by the standard error of the estimate.
There is about a 90-percent chance, or level of confidence, that an
estimate based on a sample will differ by no more than 1.6 standard
errors from the "true" population value because of sampling error. BLS
analyses are generally conducted at the 90-percent level of confidence.
   
   The CPS data also are affected by nonsampling error. Nonsampling
error can occur for many reasons, including the failure to sample a
segment of the population, inability to obtain information for all
respondents in the sample, inability or unwillingness of respondents
to provide correct information, and errors made in the collection or
processing of the data.
   
   A full discussion of the reliability of data from the CPS and
information on estimating standard errors is available at
www.bls.gov/cps/documentation.htm#reliability.

Concepts

   The principal concepts used in connection with the school
enrollment series are described briefly below.

   School enrollment. Respondents were asked whether they were
currently enrolled in a regular school, including day or night school
in any type of public, parochial, or other private school. Regular
schooling is that which may advance a person toward a high school
diploma or a college, university, or professional degree. Such schools
include elementary schools, junior or senior high schools, and colleges
and universities. Other schooling, including trade schools; on-the-job
training; and courses that do not require physical presence in school,
such as correspondence courses or other courses of independent study,
is included only if the credits granted count towards promotion in
regular school.

   Full-time and part-time enrollment in college. College students
are classified as attending full time if they were taking 12 hours of
classes or more (or 9 hours of graduate classes) during an average
school week and as part time if they were taking fewer hours.

   High school graduation status. Persons who were not enrolled in
school at the time of the survey were asked whether they had graduated
from high school. Those who had graduated were asked when they
completed their high school education. Persons who had not graduated,
that is, school dropouts, were asked when they last attended a regular
school. Those who were enrolled in college at the time of the survey
also were asked when they graduated from high school.

   Recent high school graduates. Persons who completed high school in
the calendar year of the survey (January through October) are recent
high school graduates.

   Recent high school dropouts. Persons who were not enrolled in
school at the time of the survey, attended school a year earlier, and
did not have a high school diploma are recent dropouts.




Table 1.  Labor force status of 2011 high school graduates and 2010-11 high school dropouts 16 to 24 years old by school enrollment,
educational attainment, sex, race, and Hispanic or Latino ethnicity, October 2011
   
(Numbers in thousands)
                                                                                                                                        
                                                                                                                                        
                                                                               Civilian labor force                                     
                                                                                                                                        
                                           Civilian                                                                             Not in  
             Characteristic               noninsti-                                   Employed              Unemployed          labor   
                                           tutional                Percent of                                                   force   
                                          population     Total     population                                                           
                                                                                 Total     Percent of    Number       Rate               
                                                                                           population                                    
                                                                                                                                        
                                                                                                                                        
                                                                                                                                        
Total, 2011 high school graduates (1)...     3,081       1,487        48.3       1,090        35.4         398        26.7       1,594  
                                                                                                                                        
 Men....................................     1,607         808        50.3         551        34.3         258        31.9         799  
 Women..................................     1,474         679        46.1         539        36.6         140        20.6         795  
                                                                                                                                        
 White..................................     2,330       1,183        50.8         913        39.2         271        22.9       1,147  
 Black or African American..............       483         200        41.4         112        23.2          88        43.9         283  
 Asian..................................       143          42        29.6          18        12.3          25        (2)          101  
 Hispanic or Latino ethnicity...........       623         276        44.3         177        28.4          99        35.9         347  
                                                                                                                                        
 Enrolled in college....................     2,103         815        38.8         643        30.6         172        21.1       1,288  
                                                                                                                                        
  Enrolled in 2-year college............       794         397        49.9         303        38.1          94        23.7         397  
  Enrolled in 4-year college............     1,309         418        32.0         340        26.0          78        18.6         890  
                                                                                                                                        
  Full-time students....................     1,932         679        35.1         527        27.3         152        22.4       1,253  
  Part-time students....................       170         136        79.7         116        68.3          19        14.3          35  
                                                                                                                                        
  Men...................................     1,038         378        36.5         273        26.3         106        27.9         659  
  Women.................................     1,065         437        41.0         370        34.8          66        15.2         628  
                                                                                                                                        
  White.................................     1,577         670        42.5         549        34.8         122        18.2         907  
  Black or African American.............       326          92        28.3          62        19.0          30        33.0         233  
  Asian.................................       124          30        24.1          12        10.0          17        (2)           94  
  Hispanic or Latino ethnicity..........       415         155        37.4         103        24.9          52        33.5         260  
                                                                                                                                        
 Not enrolled in college................       979         672        68.7         447        45.6         226        33.6         306  
                                                                                                                                        
  Men...................................       569         430        75.5         278        48.8         152        35.4         139  
  Women.................................       409         242        59.2         169        41.2          74        30.4         167  
                                                                                                                                        
  White.................................       753         513        68.2         364        48.4         149        29.0         239  
  Black or African American.............       158         108        68.4          50        32.0          57        53.3          50  
  Asian.................................        19          13        (2)            5        (2)            7        (2)            7  
  Hispanic or Latino ethnicity..........       208         121        58.0          74        35.4          47        39.0          88  
                                                                                                                                        
Total, 2010-11 high school dropouts (3)        369         205        55.5         126        34.2          79        38.4         164  
                                                                                                                                        
 Men....................................       200         118        59.1          86        42.8          33        27.5          82  
 Women..................................       169          87        51.3          41        24.1          46        53.1          82  
                                                                                                                                        
 White..................................       266         133        49.8          87        32.8          45        34.2         134  
 Black or African American..............        74          49        (2)           32        (2)           17        (2)           25  
 Asian..................................        10          10        (2)            5        (2)            5        (2)           -   
 Hispanic or Latino ethnicity...........        96          48        49.6          28        29.0          20        (2)           49  
     
   1 Data refer to persons who graduated from high school in January through October 2011.
   2 Data not shown where base is less than 75,000.
   3 Data refer to persons who dropped out of school between October 2010 and October 2011.
   NOTE:  Detail for the above race groups (white, black or African American, and Asian) do not sum to totals because data are not
presented for all races. Persons whose ethnicity is identified as Hispanic or Latino may be of any race.  Because of rounding, sums of
individual items may not equal totals.Updated population controls are introduced annually with the release of January data. Dash
represents or rounds to zero.  
       
       
       

Table 2.  Labor force status of persons 16 to 24 years old by school enrollment, educational attainment, sex, race, and Hispanic or
Latino ethnicity, October 2011
  
(Numbers in thousands)
                                                                                                                                        
                                                                                                                                        
                                                                               Civilian labor force                                     
                                                                                                                                        
                                           Civilian                                                                             Not in  
             Characteristic               noninsti-                                  Employed               Unemployed          labor   
                                           tutional               Percent of                                                    force   
                                          population    Total     population                                                            
                                                                                Total       Percent of   Number       Rate              
                                                                                            population                                  
                                                                                                                                        
                                                                                                                                        
                                                                                                                                        
Total, 16 to 24 years...................    38,276      21,386        55.9      17,932        46.8       3,454        16.2      16,890  
                                                                                                                                        
 Enrolled in school.....................    22,403       8,744        39.0       7,501        33.5       1,243        14.2      13,659  
                                                                                                                                        
  Enrolled in high school (1)...........     9,618       2,116        22.0       1,582        16.5         534        25.2       7,502  
                                                                                                                                        
   Men..................................     5,010         976        19.5         704        14.1         272        27.9       4,034  
   Women................................     4,608       1,140        24.7         878        19.1         262        23.0       3,468  
                                                                                                                                        
   White................................     7,232       1,764        24.4       1,365        18.9         399        22.6       5,468  
   Black or African American............     1,598         263        16.5         161        10.1         102        38.8       1,334  
   Asian................................       372          37        10.0          28         7.6           9       (2)           335  
   Hispanic or Latino ethnicity.........     1,981         300        15.1         192         9.7         108        36.1       1,681  
                                                                                                                                        
  Enrolled in college...................    12,785       6,628        51.8       5,919        46.3         709        10.7       6,158  
                                                                                                                                        
   Enrolled in 2-year college...........     3,685       2,252        61.1       1,941        52.7         311        13.8       1,433  
   Enrolled in 4-year college...........     9,101       4,375        48.1       3,977        43.7         398         9.1       4,725  
                                                                                                                                        
   Full-time students...................    10,908       5,043        46.2       4,508        41.3         534        10.6       5,866  
   Part-time students...................     1,877       1,585        84.4       1,410        75.1         174        11.0         292  
                                                                                                                                        
   Men..................................     6,061       3,028        50.0       2,671        44.1         356        11.8       3,033  
   Women................................     6,725       3,600        53.5       3,247        48.3         353         9.8       3,125  
                                                                                                                                        
   White................................     9,970       5,435        54.5       4,911        49.3         524         9.6       4,536  
   Black or African American............     1,670         736        44.1         619        37.1         117        15.9         934  
   Asian................................       772         261        33.8         223        28.9          38        14.5         511  
   Hispanic or Latino ethnicity.........     2,112       1,088        51.5         926        43.9         162        14.9       1,023  
                                                                                                                                        
 Not enrolled in school.................    15,873      12,642        79.6      10,431        65.7       2,212        17.5       3,231  
  16 to 19 years........................     2,855       1,930        67.6       1,384        48.5         546        28.3         925  
  20 to 24 years........................    13,018      10,713        82.3       9,047        69.5       1,666        15.5       2,305  
                                                                                                                                        
  Men...................................     8,352       7,080        84.8       5,790        69.3       1,290        18.2       1,273  
   Less than a high school diploma......     1,532       1,131        73.8         907        59.3         223        19.7         401  
   High school graduates, no college (3)     3,990       3,348        83.9       2,574        64.5         774        23.1         642  
   Some college or associate degree.....     1,971       1,772        89.9       1,559        79.1         213        12.0         199  
   Bachelor's degree and higher (4).....       859         828        96.4         749        87.2          79         9.5          31  
                                                                                                                                        
  Women.................................     7,521       5,563        74.0       4,641        61.7         922        16.6       1,958  
   Less than a high school diploma......     1,222         697        57.0         480        39.3         217        31.2         525  
   High school graduates, no college (3)     2,986       2,042        68.4       1,654        55.4         389        19.0         943  
   Some college or associate degree.....     2,073       1,682        81.1       1,457        70.3         225        13.4         392  
   Bachelor's degree and higher (4).....     1,240       1,142        92.1       1,051        84.7          92         8.0          98  
                                                                                                                                        
  White.................................    12,265       9,935        81.0       8,414        68.6       1,521        15.3       2,330  
  Black or African American.............     2,467       1,838        74.5       1,315        53.3         523        28.5         630  
  Asian.................................       467         353        75.7         300        64.2          53        15.1         114  
  Hispanic or Latino ethnicity..........     3,600       2,834        78.7       2,309        64.1         525        18.5         766  
    
   1 Includes a small number of persons enrolled in grades below high school.
   2 Data not shown where base is less than 75,000.
   3 Includes persons with a high school diploma or equivalent.
   4 Includes persons with bachelor's, master's, professional, and doctoral degrees.
   NOTE: Detail for the above race groups (white, black or African American, and Asian) do not sum to totals because data are not
presented for all races. Persons whose ethnicity is identified as Hispanic or Latino may be of any race. Because of rounding, sums of
individual items may not equal totals. Updated population controls are introduced annually with the release of January data.




Last Modified Date: April 19, 2012
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