Economic News Release

College Enrollment and Work Activity of High School Graduates News Release

For release 10:00 a.m. (EDT) Tuesday, April 22, 2014                   USDL-14-0657

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
                             2013 HIGH SCHOOL GRADUATES


In October 2013, 65.9 percent of 2013 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 2013 were over 
twice as likely as enrolled graduates to be working or looking for work--74.2 
percent compared with 34.1 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 nearly 3.0 million youth age 16 to 24 who graduated from high school between
January and October 2013, about 2.0 million (65.9 percent) were enrolled in college
in October. The college enrollment rate of recent high school graduates in October
2013 was little different from the rate in October 2012 (66.2 percent). For 2013
graduates, the college enrollment rate was 68.4 percent for young women and 63.5 
percent for young men. The college enrollment rate of Asians (79.1 percent) was higher
than the rates for recent white (67.1 percent), black (59.3 percent), and Hispanic
(59.9 percent) graduates. (See table 1.) 

In October 2013, 34.1 percent of recent high school graduates who were enrolled in 
college participated in the labor force--that is, they were working or looking for 
work. The participation rates for male and female graduates enrolled in college 
were 33.7 percent and 34.5 percent, respectively.

Among recent high school graduates enrolled in college in October 2013, 92.8 
percent were full-time students. The labor force participation rate was 31.0 
percent for full-time students, much lower than the rate of 73.8 percent for 
part-time students. 

About 6 in 10 recent high school graduates enrolled in college attended 4-year 
institutions. Of these students, 27.8 percent participated in the labor force, 
compared with 45.2 percent of recent graduates enrolled in 2-year colleges. 

Recent high school graduates not enrolled in college in the fall of 2013 were 
more likely than enrolled graduates to be in the labor force (74.2 percent 
compared with 34.1 percent). The unemployment rate for high school graduates 
not enrolled in college was 30.9 percent, compared with 20.2 percent for 
graduates enrolled in college.

Between October 2012 and October 2013, 529,000 young people dropped out of high 
school. The labor force participation rate for recent dropouts (42.9 percent) 
was much lower than the rate for recent high school graduates not enrolled in 
college (74.2 percent). The jobless rate for recent high school dropouts was 
27.9 percent, compared with 30.9 percent for recent high school graduates not 
enrolled in college.  

All Youth Enrolled in High School or College

In October 2013, 56.6 percent of the nation's 16- to 24-year-olds, or 22.0 
million young people, were enrolled in high school (9.5 million) or in college 
(12.5 million). Both the labor force participation rate (37.2 percent) and 
unemployment rate (11.7 percent) of youth enrolled in school in October 2013 
were down from October 2012. (See table 2.) 

In October 2013, college students continued to be more likely to participate in 
the labor force than high school students (49.3 percent compared with 21.1 
percent). Among those attending college, the labor force participation rate was 
lower for full-time students (43.4 percent) than for part-time students (82.1 
percent). For both 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 (52.2 percent) than their male 
counterparts (45.9 percent). Labor force participation rates for male and female 
high school students were about the same (20.4 percent and 21.9 percent, respectively).

The unemployment rate for high school students, at 21.3 percent in October 2013, 
was more than twice the rate for college students (8.6 percent). For both high 
school and college students, jobless rates for blacks and Hispanics were higher 
than for whites.

All Youth Not Enrolled in School

In October 2013, 16.8 million persons age 16 to 24 were not enrolled in school. 
The labor force participation rate of youth not enrolled in school (77.7 percent) 
in October 2013 was down from the rate a year earlier. Among youth not enrolled 
in school in October 2013, young men continued to be more likely than young women 
to participate in the labor force--81.8 percent compared with 73.1 percent. Labor 
force participation rates for not-enrolled young men and women were highest 
for college graduates (96.4 percent and 91.5 percent, respectively) and lowest for 
young men and women with less than a high school diploma (64.6 percent and 50.2 
percent, respectively). (See table 2.) 

The unemployment rate (16.1 percent) for youths age 16 to 24 not enrolled in 
school in October 2013 was essentially unchanged from October 2012. Among not-
enrolled youth who did not have a high school diploma, unemployment rates in 
October 2013 were 26.4 percent for young men and 32.9 percent for young women. 
In contrast, the jobless rates for young men and women with at least a bachelor's 
degree were 7.9 percent and 6.5 percent, respectively. Black youth not enrolled 
in school had an unemployment rate of 25.6 percent in October 2013, higher than 
the rates for their white (13.6 percent), Asian (11.8 percent), and Hispanic 
(16.8 percent) counterparts. 




Technical Note


   The estimates in this release were obtained from a supplement to the October 2013
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.

   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.




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Table 1. Labor force status of 2013 high school graduates and 2012-13 high school dropouts 16 to 24 years old by school enrollment, educational attainment, sex, race, and Hispanic or Latino ethnicity, October 2013
[Numbers in thousands]
Characteristic Civilian noninsti-tutional population Civilian labor force Not in labor force
Total Percent of population Employed Unemployed
Total Percent of population Number Rate
RECENT HIGH SCHOOL GRADUATES
Total, 2013 high school graduates¹  2,977 1,422 47.8 1,054 35.4 367 25.8 1,556
   Men  1,524 763 50.0 542 35.5 221 29.0 762
   Women  1,453 659 45.4 513 35.3 146 22.2 794
   White  2,224 1,107 49.8 850 38.2 257 23.2 1,117
   Black or African American  415 187 45.0 127 30.6 60 32.0 228
   Asian  177 47 26.5 27 15.3 20 130
   Hispanic or Latino ethnicity  571 260 45.4 178 31.1 82 31.5 312
Enrolled in college
Total, enrolled in college  1,962 669 34.1 534 27.2 135 20.2 1,293
   Enrolled in 2-year college  709 320 45.2 240 33.8 81 25.2 389
   Enrolled in 4-year college  1,253 348 27.8 294 23.5 54 15.6 904
   Full-time students  1,820 564 31.0 458 25.1 107 18.9 1,256
   Part-time students  141 104 73.8 76 53.7 28 27.2 37
   Men  968 326 33.7 236 24.4 90 27.5 642
   Women  994 343 34.5 297 29.9 45 13.2 651
   White  1,493 546 36.6 445 29.8 101 18.5 947
   Black or African American  246 73 29.8 53 21.4 21 173
   Asian  140 29 20.8 16 11.7 13 111
   Hispanic or Latino ethnicity  342 114 33.3 76 22.3 38 33.2 228
Not enrolled in college
Total, not enrolled in college  1,016 753 74.2 521 51.3 232 30.9 262
   Men  556 437 78.5 305 54.9 131 30.1 119
   Women  459 316 68.8 215 46.9 101 31.9 143
   White  731 561 76.7 405 55.3 156 27.9 171
   Black or African American  169 114 67.1 74 44.0 39 34.5 56
   Asian  37 18 11 7 19
   Hispanic or Latino ethnicity  229 146 63.5 102 44.3 44 30.2 84
RECENT HIGH SCHOOL DROPOUTS
Total, 2012-13 high school dropouts²  529 227 42.9 164 31.0 63 27.9 302
   Men  285 116 40.8 95 33.2 22 18.6 168
   Women  244 111 45.4 69 28.3 42 37.6 133
   White  406 180 44.4 131 32.3 49 27.3 226
   Black or African American  84 20 23.5 14 16.6 6 64
   Asian  15 11 11 4
   Hispanic or Latino ethnicity  135 63 46.6 42 31.0 21 72
¹ Data refer to persons who graduated from high school in January through October 2013.
² Data refer to persons who dropped out of school between October 2012 and October 2013.
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).