February 04, 2009
High school graduates not enrolled in college during the Octobers when they were ages 20 or 21 were employed an average of 77 percent of the weeks between the October when they were age 20 and the following October.
By comparison, high school dropouts were employed 57 percent of the weeks between the October when they were age 20 and the following October.
Regardless of the level of educational attainment, men were employed a larger percentage of weeks than women, and whites were employed a larger percentage of weeks than blacks or Hispanics. Men were more likely than women to work 40 hours or more per week. Male high school dropouts worked 40 hours or more 47 percent of the weeks between the October when they were 20 and the following October compared with 28 percent of weeks for female dropouts.
These data are from the National Longitudinal Surveys. Learn more in "America's Youth at 21: School Enrollment, Training, and Employment Transitions Between Ages 20 and 21" (PDF) (HTML), news release USDL 09-0079. These estimates are based on data collected from respondents who were age 20 in October during the years 2000 to 2005 and age 21 in October during the years 2001 to 2006
Bureau of Labor Statistics, U.S. Department of Labor, The Economics Daily, Employment of 20- and 21-year-olds not enrolled in school on the Internet at http://www.bls.gov/opub/ted/2009/feb/wk1/art03.htm (visited November 24, 2015).
Fifty years of looking at changes in peoples lives
Longitudinal surveys help us understand long-term changes, such as how events that happened when a person was in high school affect labor market success as an adult.