April 20, 2012
From October 2010 to October 2011, the labor force participation rate (39.0 percent) of youth (aged 16 to 24 years) enrolled in school was essentially unchanged. College students continued to be more likely to participate in the labor force than high school students (51.8 percent compared with 22.0 percent). Those attending college full time had a much lower labor force participation rate (46.2 percent) than did part-time students (84.4 percent).
Asian college students (33.8 percent) were less likely to participate in the labor force in October 2011 than black (44.1 percent), white (54.5 percent), or Hispanic or Latino (51.5 percent) college students. Female college students were somewhat more likely to be in the labor force (53.5 percent) than their male counterparts (50.0 percent). Female high school students were also more likely to be in the labor force (24.7 percent) than were males (19.5 percent).
In October 2011, the labor force participation rate of youth not enrolled in school was 79.6 percent, little changed from a year earlier. Among youth not enrolled in school in October 2011, men continued to be more likely than women to participate in the labor force—84.8 percent compared with 74.0 percent.
This information is from a supplement to the October 2011 Current Population Survey (CPS), a monthly nationwide survey of about 60,000 households that provides basic data on national employment and unemployment. Additional information is available from "College Enrollment and Work Activity of 2011 High School Graduates" (HTML) (PDF) news release USDL-12-0716.
Bureau of Labor Statistics, U.S. Department of Labor, The Economics Daily, Labor force participation among students and nonstudents, October 2011 on the Internet at http://www.bls.gov/opub/ted/2012/ted_20120420.htm (visited November 26, 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.