Economic News Release

College Enrollment and Work Activity of High School Graduates News Release

For release 10:00 a.m. (EDT) Thursday, April 16, 2015              USDL-15-0608

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
                          2014 HIGH SCHOOL GRADUATES


In October 2014, 68.4 percent of 2014 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 
2014 were almost twice as likely as enrolled graduates to be working or 
looking for work (72.7 percent compared with 37.9 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 2.9 million youth age 16 to 24 who graduated from high school 
between January and October 2014, about 2.0 million (68.4 percent) were 
enrolled in college in October. The college enrollment rate of recent 
high school graduates in October 2014 was little different from the rate 
in October 2013 (65.9 percent). For 2014 graduates, the college enrollment 
rate was 72.7 percent for young women and 64.0 percent for young men. The 
college enrollment rate of Asians (86.1 percent) was higher than for 
recent black (70.9 percent), white (67.3 percent), and Hispanic (65.2 
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 37.9 percent. The participation rates for male and female 
graduates enrolled in college were 36.1 percent and 39.5 percent, 
respectively.

Among recent high school graduates enrolled in college in October 2014, 
about 9 in 10 were full-time students. Recent graduates enrolled as 
full-time students were about half as likely to be in the labor force 
(34.8 percent) as were their peers enrolled part time (75.2 percent).

About 2 in 3 recent high school graduates enrolled in college attended 
4-year colleges. Of these students, 31.6 percent participated 
in the labor force, compared with 49.1 percent of recent graduates 
enrolled in 2-year colleges.

Recent high school graduates not enrolled in college in the fall of 
2014 were much more likely than enrolled graduates to be in the labor 
force (72.7 percent compared with 37.9 percent). The unemployment 
rate for recent high school graduates not enrolled in school was 28.8 
percent, almost twice the rate of recent graduates enrolled in college 
(14.5 percent).

Between October 2013 and October 2014, 575,000 young people dropped 
out of high school. The labor force participation rate for recent 
dropouts (41.2 percent) was much lower than for recent high school 
graduates not enrolled in college (72.7 percent). The jobless rate 
for recent high school dropouts was 30.3 percent, similar to the 
rate for recent high school graduates not enrolled in college 
(28.8 percent).

All Youth Enrolled in High School or College

In October 2014, 56.4 percent of the nation's 16- to -24 year olds, 
or 21.8 million young people, were enrolled in high school (9.4 
million) or in college (12.3 million). The labor force participation 
rate (38.0 percent) of youth enrolled in school was essentially 
unchanged from October 2013 to October 2014. The unemployment rate 
for this group declined over the year from 11.7 percent to 10.1 
percent. (See table 2.) 

In October 2014, college students continued to be more likely to 
participate in the labor force than high school students (50.0 
percent compared with 22.3 percent). Those attending college full 
time had a much lower labor force participation rate than did 
part-time students (44.7 percent versus 85.7 percent). For high 
school and college students, Asians were less likely to participate 
in the labor force than blacks, whites, or Hispanics. Female 
college students were more likely to be in the labor force (53.5 
percent) than their male counterparts (46.0 percent). Labor force 
participation rates for female and male high school students were 
similar (23.7 percent and 21.0 percent, respectively). 

The unemployment rate for high school students, at 18.4 percent 
in October 2014, was more than twice the rate for college 
students (7.3 percent). Unemployment rates for black (28.6 percent) 
and Hispanic (27.8 percent) high school students continued to 
be higher than for white high school students (15.5 percent). 

All Youth Not Enrolled in School

In October 2014, 16.9 million persons age 16 to 24 were not enrolled 
in school. The labor force participation rate of youth not enrolled 
in school increased over the year from 77.7 percent to 78.9 percent. 
Among youth not enrolled in school in October 2014, young men 
continued to be more likely than young women to participate in the 
labor force--83.1 percent compared with 74.4 percent. Labor force 
participation rates for not-enrolled men and women were highest for 
those with a bachelor's degree or higher (93.5 percent and 91.8 
percent, respectively) and lowest for men and women with less than a 
high school diploma (68.0 percent and 54.0 percent, respectively). 
(See table 2.)

The unemployment rate for youth age 16 to 24 not enrolled in school 
declined over the year from 16.1 percent to 13.7 percent. Among 
not-enrolled youth who did not have a high school diploma, unemployment 
rates in October 2014 were 24.6 percent for young men and 32.1 percent 
for young women. In contrast, the jobless rates of young men and 
women with at least a bachelor's degree were 8.0 percent and 7.8 
percent, respectively. Black youth not enrolled in school had an 
unemployment rate of 23.7 percent in October 2014, higher than the 
rates for their white (11.4 percent), Asian (12.8 percent), and 
Hispanic (12.8 percent) counterparts. 




Technical Note


   The estimates in this release were obtained from a supplement to the October 2014
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 controls for the CPS are introduced
annually with the release of January data. Additional information about population
controls is available on the BLS website 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 component
of this difference that occurs because samples differ by chance is known as sampling error,
and variability is measured by the standard error, and 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.

   Additional information about the reliability of data from the CPS and 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 2014 high school graduates and 2013-14 high school dropouts 16 to 24 years old by school enrollment, educational attainment, sex, race, and Hispanic or Latino ethnicity, October 2014
[Numbers in thousands]
Characteristic Civilian
nonin-
stitutional
population
Civilian labor force Not in labor
force
Total Percent of
population
Employment Unemployment
Total Percent of
population
Number Rate

RECENT HIGH SCHOOL GRADUATES

Total, 2014 high school graduates (1)

2,868 1,403 48.9 1,105 38.5 298 21.2 1,465

Men

1,423 719 50.5 568 39.9 152 21.1 704

Women

1,445 684 47.3 538 37.2 146 21.4 761

White

2,167 1,101 50.8 866 40.0 234 21.3 1,066

Black or African American

371 171 46.0 131 35.3 40 23.3 200

Asian

137 43 31.2 40 29.3 3 - 94

Hispanic or Latino ethnicity

566 306 54.0 231 40.8 75 24.5 260

Enrolled in college

Total, enrolled in college

1,961 744 37.9 636 32.4 108 14.5 1,217

Enrolled in 2-year college

706 347 49.1 291 41.2 56 16.1 359

Enrolled in 4-year college

1,254 397 31.6 345 27.5 52 13.0 858

Full-time students

1,810 630 34.8 537 29.7 93 14.8 1,180

Part-time students

151 113 75.2 99 65.6 14 12.8 37

Men

911 329 36.1 300 32.9 29 8.9 582

Women

1,050 415 39.5 336 32.0 78 18.9 635

White

1,459 586 40.1 517 35.5 68 11.7 873

Black or African American

263 96 36.3 67 25.4 29 30.1 168

Asian

118 25 21.6 25 21.6 - - 92

Hispanic or Latino ethnicity

369 181 49.2 153 41.3 29 15.9 188

Not enrolled in college

Total, not enrolled in college

907 659 72.7 469 51.7 190 28.8 248

Men

512 390 76.2 268 52.3 122 31.4 122

Women

395 269 68.0 201 50.9 68 25.1 126

White

708 515 72.7 349 49.3 166 32.2 193

Black or African American

107 75 69.9 64 59.7 11 14.7 32

Asian

19 17 - 15 - 3 - 2

Hispanic or Latino ethnicity

197 124 63.1 79 39.8 46 36.9 73

RECENT HIGH SCHOOL DROPOUTS

Total, 2013-14 high school dropouts (2)

575 237 41.2 165 28.7 72 30.3 338

Men

309 125 40.6 79 25.5 47 37.2 183

Women

266 111 41.9 86 32.5 25 22.4 154

White

436 179 41.0 135 31.0 44 24.5 257

Black or African American

86 38 44.6 15 17.5 23 - 47

Asian

5 2 - 2 - - - 3

Hispanic or Latino ethnicity

182 81 44.5 62 34.2 19 23.2 101


(1) Data refer to persons who graduated from high school in January through October 2014.
(2) Data refer to persons who dropped out of school between October 2013 and October 2014.

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. Updated population controls are introduced annually with the release of January data. Dash indicates no data or data that do not meet publication criteria (values not shown where base is less than 75,000).