from the Bureau of Labor Statistics
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.