Economic News Release

College Enrollment and Work Activity of 2014 High School Graduates

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. 



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Last Modified Date: April 16, 2015
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