Economic News Release

College Enrollment and Work Activity of High School Graduates News Release


Technical information:  (202) 691-6378   USDL 08-0559
               http://www.bls.gov/cps/
                                         For release:  10:00 A.M. (EDT)
Media contact:          (202) 691-5902   Friday, April 25, 2008


                     COLLEGE ENROLLMENT AND WORK ACTIVITY OF
                           2007 HIGH SCHOOL GRADUATES


   In October 2007, 67.2 percent of high school graduates from the class
of 2007 were enrolled in colleges or universities, according to data re-
leased today by the Bureau of Labor Statistics of the U.S. Department of
Labor.

   Information on school enrollment and work activity is collected month-
ly in the Current Population Survey (CPS).  Each October, a supplement to
the basic CPS gathers more detailed information on employment, unemploy-
ment, earnings, demographics, and other characteristics of the civilian
noninstitutional population age 16 and over.  Additional information
about the October supplement is included in the Technical Note.

Recent High School Graduates and Dropouts

   Of the nearly 3.0 million youth who graduated from high school between
October 2006 and October 2007, about 2.0 million (67.2 percent) were at-
tending college in October 2007.  The college enrollment rates were 68.3
percent for young women and 66.1 percent for young men.  (See table 1.)

   Among recent high school graduates enrolled in college in October 2007,
93.2 percent were enrolled as full-time students.  The labor force parti-
cipation rate (the proportion of the population with a job or looking for
work) was 37.3 percent for full-time students and 72.7 percent for part-
time students.

   About 64.1 percent of recent high school graduates enrolled in college
were attending 4-year institutions.  Of these students, 31.4 percent par-
ticipated in the labor force; in contrast, 54.7 percent of students enrolled
in 2-year institutions were the labor force.

   Recent high school graduates not enrolled in college in the fall of 2007
were more likely to be in the labor force than enrolled graduates (76.6 per-
cent versus 39.7 percent).  The unemployment rate for those not enrolled in
college was 19.9 percent, compared with 9.8 percent for high school graduates
enrolled in college (in either 2-year or 4-year institutions).

   Between October 2006 and October 2007, 426,000 people between the ages of
16 and 24 dropped out of high school.  Hispanics represented a disproportion-
ately large share of dropouts (27.9 percent).

   The labor force participation rate for dropouts was 56.2 percent, compared
with 76.6 percent for those who graduated high school but were not  enrolled
in college.  Among recent high school dropouts in October 2007, 60.4 percent
of young men and 51.1 percent of young women were in the labor force.  The
unemployment rate for recent high school dropouts was 26.9 percent.

Youth Enrolled in School

   In October 2007, 21.1 million young people between the ages of 16 and 24,
or 56.2 percent of the 16- to 24-year-old population, were either enrolled in
high school (9.7 million) or in college (11.3 million).  (See table 2.)

   College students were more likely to work or look for work than high school
students (54.0 percent and 29.4 percent, respectively).  Among college students,
the labor force participation rate for part-time students (85.3 percent) was
higher than for full-time students (48.6 percent).  Female college students
were more likely to be in the labor force than male college students (56.6 per-
cent versus 51.0 percent).


                                     - 2 -



   The unemployment rate for high school students, at 15.2 percent in October
2007, was more than twice that for college students (5.9 percent). Nearly one-
quarter of black high school students were unemployed (24.6 percent), as were
17.9 percent of Hispanics and 13.4 percent of whites.  Among college students,
unemployment rates were 9.9 percent for blacks, 7.0 percent for Asians, 5.0
percent for whites, and 4.3 percent for Hispanics.

Out-of-School Youth

   In October 2007, there were 16.4 million youth not enrolled in school.  These
out-of-school youth participated in the labor force at a rate of 80.8 percent.
Young men not enrolled in school were more likely to be working or looking for
work than their female counterparts (87.9 percent versus 73.0 percent).  Labor
force participation rates among young out-of-school men and women were highest
for college graduates and lowest for those with less than a high school diploma.
(See table 2.)

   The unemployment rate for youth not enrolled in school was 11.5 percent in
October 2007.  Among the educational attainment categories, unemployment rates
were highest for men and women who were not in school and did not have a high
school diploma (15.7 percent and 19.0 percent, respectively).  In contrast,
the unemployment rate among young college graduates was 7.4 percent for men
and 5.4 percent for women.  The unemployment rate for black youth not in school,
at 21.5 percent, was more than twice that for white youth and Asian youth who
were not enrolled (9.6 and 9.9 percent, respectively).  The unemployment rate
for Hispanic youth not in school was 11.5 percent.







                                  - 3 -


Technical Note

   The estimates in this release were obtained from a supplement to the
October 2007 Current Population Survey (CPS), a monthly survey of about
60,000 households that provides information on the labor force, employ-
ment, 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 controls for
the Current Population Survey are introduced annually with the release of
January data.

   The supplement weights used in estimation were revised with the release
of October 2007 data.  An additional weighting step was added in order to
bring the CPS estimates for persons receiving a high school diploma or GED
more in line with administrative records.  The 2007 October supplement data
are not strictly comparable with published estimates from earlier years.

   Information in this release will be made available to sensory impaired
individuals upon request.  Voice phone:  (202) 691-5200; TDD message refer-
ral phone number:  1-800-877-8339.

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 de-
pending 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.

   For a full discussion of the reliability of data from the CPS and informa-
tion on estimating standard errors, see the Household Data section of the 
"Explanatory Notes and Estimates of Error" at http://www.bls.gov/cps/eetech_
methods.pdf.

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.


                                     - 4 -


   Full-time and part-time enrollment in college.  College students are classi-
fied 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 educa-
tion.  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.







   Table 1.  Labor force status of 2007 high school graduates and 2006-07 high school dropouts 16 to 24 years old
   by school enrollment, sex, race, and Hispanic or Latino ethnicity, October 2007
   
   (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         
                                                                                                                      
                                                                                                                      
   Total, 2007 high school graduates (1)...   2,955     1,531     51.8      1,307     44.2        224    14.7    1,424
                                                                                                                      
                                                                                                                      
       Men.................................   1,511       800     52.9        672     44.5        128    16.0      711
       Women...............................   1,444       731     50.6        635     44.0         96    13.2      713
                                                                                                                      
       White...............................   2,380     1,224     51.4      1,091     45.9        132    10.8    1,156
       Black or African American...........     420       231     55.0        151     35.9         80    34.8      189
       Asian...............................      66        24      (2)         22      (2)          3     (2)       42
       Hispanic or Latino ethnicity........     355       157     44.2        134     37.6         23    14.9      198
                                                                                                                      
     Enrolled in college...................   1,986       789     39.7        712     35.9         77     9.8    1,197
                                                                                                                      
       Enrolled in 2-year college..........     711       389     54.7        349     49.0         41    10.4      322
       Enrolled in 4-year college..........   1,274       400     31.4        363     28.5         36     9.1      875
                                                                                                                      
       Full-time students..................   1,851       691     37.3        621     33.5         70    10.2    1,160
       Part-time students..................     135        98     72.7         91     67.7          7     6.8       37
                                                                                                                      
       Men.................................     999       387     38.8        359     35.9         28     7.3      612
       Women...............................     986       402     40.7        353     35.8         49    12.1      585
                                                                                                                      
       White...............................   1,636       658     40.2        603     36.9         55     8.4      978
       Black or African American...........     232        87     37.4         74     32.0         13    14.5      145
       Asian...............................      60        18      (2)         16      (2)          3     (2)       41
       Hispanic or Latino ethnicity........     227        82     35.9         78     34.5          3     3.9       46
                                                                                                                      
     Not enrolled in college...............     970       742     76.6        595     61.3        147    19.9      227
                                                                                                                      
       Men.................................     512       413     80.6        313     61.1        100    24.1       99
       Women...............................     458       330     72.0        282     61.6         48    14.5       28
                                                                                                                      
       White...............................     744       565     76.0        488     65.7         77    13.6      179
       Black or African American...........     188       144     76.8         76     40.7         68    47.0       44
       Asian...............................       7         6      (2)          6      (2)         -      (2)        1
       Hispanic or Latino ethnicity........     128        75     58.9         55     43.2         20    26.7       53
                                                                                                                      
   Total, 2006-07 high school dropouts (3).     426       239     56.2        175     41.1         64    26.9      187
       Men.................................     233       141     60.4         96     41.4         44    31.5       92
       Women...............................     193        99     51.1         79     40.6         20    20.4       95
                                                                                                                      
       White...............................     288       156     54.2        109     37.7         48    30.5      132
       Black or African American...........      75        45     60.2         29     38.0         17     (2)       30
       Asian...............................      30        17      (2)         17      (2)         -      (2)       13
       Hispanic or Latino ethnicity........     119        72     60.5         45     37.6         27     (2)       47
   
      1 Data refer to persons who graduated from high school between October 2006 and October 2007.
      2 Data not shown where base is less than 75,000.
      3 Data refer to persons who dropped out of school between October 2006 and October 2007.
      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 2007
   
   (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............   37,480    22,243     59.3     19,921     53.2      2,322    10.4   15,237
                                                                                                                    
   Enrolled in school...................   21,061     8,979     42.6      8,181     38.8        798     8.9   12,083
                                                                                                                    
     Enrolled in high school (1)........    9,724     2,855     29.4      2,421     24.9        434    15.2    6,869
                                                                                                                    
       Men..............................    5,118     1,431     28.0      1,203     23.5        227    15.9    3,687
       Women............................    4,607     1,425     30.9      1,218     26.4        206    14.5    3,182
                                                                                                                    
       White............................    7,370     2,371     32.2      2,053     27.9        318    13.4    4,999
       Black or African American........    1,590       294     18.5        222     14.0         72    24.6    1,296
       Asian............................      352        72     20.3         58     16.3         14     (2)      281
       Hispanic or Latino ethnicity.....    1,659       368     22.2        302     18.2         66    17.9    1,291
                                                                                                                    
     Enrolled in college................   11,337     6,124     54.0      5,760     50.8        364     5.9    5,213
                                                                                                                    
       Enrolled in 2-year college.......    3,217     2,066     64.2      1,946     60.5        121     5.8    1,151
       Enrolled in 4-year college.......    8,120     4,057     50.0      3,814     47.0        243     6.0    4,063
                                                                                                                    
       Full-time students...............    9,659     4,693     48.6      4,398     45.5        295     6.3    4,966
       Part-time students...............    1,678     1,431     85.3      1,362     81.2         69     4.8      247
                                                                                                                    
       Men..............................    5,226     2,664     51.0      2,508     48.0        156     5.9    2,563
       Women............................    6,110     3,460     56.6      3,252     53.2        208     6.0    2,651
                                       .                                                                            
       White............................    8,912     5,008     56.2      4,759     53.4        249     5.0    3,904
       Black or African American........    1,423       674     47.4        607     42.7         67     9.9      749
       Asian............................      668       240     35.9        223     33.4         17     7.0      428
       Hispanic or Latino ethnicity.....    1,414       836     59.1        800     56.6         36     4.3      578
                                       .                                                                            
   Not enrolled in school...............   16,419    13,264     80.8     11,740     71.5      1,524    11.5    3,155
     16 to 19 years.....................    3,269     2,356     72.1      1,905     58.3        451    19.1      914
     20 to 24 years.....................   13,149    10,908     83.0      9,835     74.8      1,073     9.8    2,241
                                                                                                                    
     Men................................    8,595     7,554     87.9      6,628     77.1        926    12.3    1,042
       Less than a high school diploma..    1,859     1,496     80.5      1,261     67.8        236    15.7      362
       High school graduates, no                                                                                    
        college (3).....................    4,073     3,544     87.0      3,069     75.3        475    13.4      529
       Some college or associate                                                                                    
        degree..........................    1,768     1,662     94.0      1,509     85.4        152     9.2      106
       Bachelor's degree and higher (4).      895       852     95.1        789     88.1         63     7.4       44
                                                                                                                    
     Women..............................    7,823     5,710     73.0      5,112     65.3        598    10.5    2,113
       Less than a high school diploma..    1,419       689     48.6        558     39.3        131    19.0      730
       High school graduates, no                                                                                    
        college (3).....................    3,340     2,371     71.0      2,077     62.2        294    12.4      969
       Some college or associate                                                                                    
        degree..........................    1,884     1,527     81.1      1,416     75.1        112     7.3      357
       Bachelor's degree and higher (4).    1,180     1,122     95.1      1,061     90.0         61     5.4       58
     White..............................   12,740    10,441     82.0      9,441     74.1      1,000     9.6    2,299
     Black or African American..........    2,542     1,938     76.2      1,521     59.8        417    21.5      604
     Asian..............................      462       379     82.1        342     74.0         37     9.9       83
     Hispanic or Latino ethnicity.......    3,559     2,655     74.6      2,349     66.0        305    11.5      904
   
      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 25, 2008
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