Employment Experience of Youths: Results from a Longitudinal Survey News Release

For release 10:00 a.m. (EST) Wednesday, February 9, 2011                USDL-11-0155

Technical information:  (202) 691-7410  *  nls_info@bls.gov  *  www.bls.gov/nls
Media contact:          (202) 691-5902  *  PressOffice@bls.gov


          AMERICA'S YOUNG ADULTS AT 23: SCHOOL ENROLLMENT, TRAINING, AND
                  EMPLOYMENT TRANSITIONS BETWEEN AGES 22 AND 23


At age 23, there is a clear gender gap in educational attainment. While nearly 
1 in 4 women had earned a bachelorís degree by the October when they were 
age 23, only 1 in 7 men had done so, the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics re-
ported today. Additionally, the same percentage of men and women, 16 percent,  
were enrolled in college at age 23, so it is unlikely the gap in educational 
attainment will close in the next few years.

These findings are from the first 12 annual rounds of the National Longi-
tudinal Survey of Youth 1997, which is a nationally representative survey of 
about 9,000 young men and women who were born during the years 1980 to 1984. 
These respondents were ages 12 to 17 when first interviewed in 1997 and ages 
23 to 29 when interviewed for the 12th time in the 2008-09 survey round. The 
survey provides information on work and nonwork experiences, training, schooling, 
income, assets, and other characteristics. The information provided by respondents
is representative of all men and women born in the early 1980s and living in the 
United States when the survey began in 1997.

This release examines the school enrollment and employment experiences of these 
individuals when they were ages 22 and 23, with a focus on their characteristics 
during October. Respondents were age 22 in October during the years 2002 to 2007 
and age 23 in October from 2003 to 2008. Highlights from the longitudinal survey 
include:

   --During the October when they were 23 years old, 23 percent of women had 
     earned a bachelorís degree, compared with 14 percent of men. (See table 1.)

   --Among those who were enrolled in college when they were 22 years old, 
     almost a third had earned a bachelorís degree by age 23, while 23 per-
     cent were no longer enrolled in college. Non-Hispanic blacks and Hispanics 
     or Latinos were less likely than non-Hispanic whites to have earned 
     a bachelorís degree between ages 22 and 23. (See table 2.)

   --Eight percent of male high school graduates who had never enrolled in col-
     lege were in the Armed Forces during the October when they were age 23, 
     as were 6 percent of the 23-year-old men who had attended college but had 
     not earned a bachelorís degree and were no longer enrolled. Two percent 
     of 23-year-old men with a bachelorís degree were serving in the Armed 
     Forces. (See table 3.)

   --Individuals born from 1980 to 1984 held an average of 4.9 jobs from age 18 
     to age 23. Those with more education held more jobs than those with less 
     education. (See table 4.)
  
   --High school graduates who had never enrolled in college were employed an 
     average of 74 percent of the weeks from age 18 to age 23. By comparison, 
     those who had dropped out of high school were employed 54 percent of 
     those weeks. (See table 4.)

   --Six percent of individuals who had not earned a high school
     diploma or General Educational Development (GED) credential before their 
     24th birthday had never held a job since the time they left high school. 
     (See table 5.)

Educational Attainment at Age 23

Nineteen percent of individuals had earned a bachelorís degree by the October when 
they were age 23, up from 10 percent at age 22. The percent of individuals enrolled 
in college fell from 27 percent at age 22 to 16 percent at age 23. Forty-seven per-
cent of 23-year-olds had graduated from high school and were not enrolled in college, 
and 8 percent had earned a GED credential and were not enrolled in college. 
Eleven percent of individuals were high school dropouts during the October when they 
were age 23. (See table 1.)

Women were 1.6 times as likely as men to have earned a bachelorís degree by the Octo-
ber when they were age 23 and were equally likely to be enrolled in college. Twenty-
three percent of women had earned a bachelorís degree, compared with 14 percent of 
men. Women were less likely than men at age 23 to be high school dropouts or high 
school graduates not enrolled in college.

There remains a large gap in educational attainment among racial and ethnic groups. At 
age 23, non-Hispanic whites were more than twice as likely as non-Hispanic blacks and 
Hispanics or Latinos to have earned a bachelorís degree. Twenty-two percent of non-
Hispanic whites had earned a bachelorís degree, compared with 9 percent of non-Hispanic 
blacks and 8 percent of Hispanics or Latinos. Non-Hispanic blacks and Hispanics or 
Latinos were twice as likely as non-Hispanic whites to be high school dropouts in the 
October when they were age 23.

Schooling and Training between Ages 22 and 23

Some people delay their college enrollment for a year or more after high school, and 
others enroll in college and then leave before earning a degree. Seven percent of high 
school graduates who were not enrolled in college during the October when they were 
age 22 were enrolled in college the following October. Twenty-three percent of those 
enrolled in college during the October when age 22 were not enrolled the following 
October and had not earned a bachelorís degree. Forty-five percent of individuals at-
tending college during the October when they were age 22 were still attending college 
the following October, and 32 percent had earned a bachelorís degree. Among those en-
rolled in college during the October when they were age 22, women were more likely 
than men to have earned a bachelorís degree by the October when they were 23 years of
age (36 percent of women compared with 29 percent of men). Six percent of both women 
and men enrolled in college during the October when they were age 22 were enrolled in 
a graduate or professional degree program the following October. (See table 2.)

Non-Hispanic blacks and Hispanics or Latinos who were enrolled in college at age 22 
were more likely than non-Hispanic whites to have left college by the following Octo-
ber without having earned a bachelorís degree. Among those enrolled in college during 
the October when they were age 22, non-Hispanic blacks and Hispanics or Latinos were 
less likely than non-Hispanic whites to have earned a bachelorís degree by the follow-
ing October, but non-Hispanic blacks and Hispanics or Latinos were more likely than 
non-Hispanic whites to have remained enrolled in college.

Instead of attending school, some young adults enroll in training to further their 
skills. Five percent of high school graduates who were not enrolled in college at age 
22 were in a training program during the October when age 23, while 1 percent of those 
previously enrolled in college at age 22 were enrolled in a training program at age 23.

Employment Status of Young Adults Not Enrolled in School at Age 23

At age 23, labor force status differed substantially by educational attainment. Those 
with more education were more likely to be employed in civilian jobs and less likely 
to be unemployed or out of the labor force. Sixty percent of high school dropouts were 
employed in civilian jobs in the October when they were age 23. At the same age, 75 per-
cent of high school graduates who had never enrolled in college were employed in civil-
ian jobs, and another 5 percent were serving in the Armed Forces. Among 23-year-old high 
school graduates who had some college experience but had not earned a bachelorís degree 
and were no longer enrolled in college, 81 percent were employed in civilian jobs, and 4 
percent were serving in the Armed Forces. Eighty-nine percent of 23-year-olds who had 
earned a bachelorís degree and were no longer enrolled were employed in civilian jobs, 
while 2 percent were serving in the Armed Forces. (See table 3.)

Men and women who were college graduates at age 23 were equally likely to be employed. 
At lower levels of educational attainment, men were more likely than women to be employ-
ed. Sixty-eight percent of male high school dropouts were employed during the October 
when they were age 23, compared with 50 percent of female dropouts. Among high school
graduates who had never enrolled in college, 77 percent of men and 73 percent of women 
were employed in civilian jobs, and 8 percent of men and 1 percent of women were serving 
in the military. Eighty-three percent of men and 79 percent of women who had attended 
some college but had not earned a bachelorís degree and were no longer enrolled were em-
ployed in civilian jobs in the October when they were age 23; 6 percent of men in this 
educational-attainment group were serving in the military, compared with 2 percent of 
women. Among those who had earned a bachelorís degree and were no longer enrolled, 90 
percent of both men and women were employed in civilian jobs or serving in the military 
during the October when they were age 23.

Employment Attachment of Young Adults

Individuals held an average of 4.9 jobs from the ages of 18 to 23 in 1998-2008. On aver-
age, men held 4.7 jobs and women held 5.1 jobs. (See table 4.)  In this release, a job is 
defined as an uninterrupted period of work with a particular employer. (See the Technical 
Note for additional information on the definition of a job.)

On average, young adults represented by the survey sample were employed during 72 percent 
of all the weeks occurring from age 18 to age 23. They were unemployed--that is, without 
jobs but seeking work--6 percent of the weeks. They were not in the labor force--that is,
neither working nor seeking work--22 percent of the weeks.

The amount of time employed differs substantially between educational-attainment groups, 
especially among non-Hispanic blacks and Hispanics or Latinos. Non-Hispanic blacks with 
less than a high school diploma spent 40 percent of weeks employed and 44 percent of 
weeks out of the labor force from age 18 to age 23. By comparison, non-Hispanic black
high school graduates who had never enrolled in college spent 61 percent of weeks employ-
ed and 26 percent of weeks out of the labor force. Non-Hispanic blacks with a bachelorís 
degree or more education were employed 66 percent of weeks from age 18 to age 23. 
Hispanic or Latino high school dropouts spent 60 percent of weeks employed, compared with 
73 percent of weeks for Hispanic or Latino high school graduates or those with a bachelorís 
degree.

The amount of time spent in the labor force also differs by sex. Men with less than a 
high school diploma spent 61 percent of weeks employed from age 18 to age 23. These men 
also spent 13 percent of weeks unemployed. By comparison, women with less than a high 
school diploma spent 45 percent of weeks employed and 9 percent of weeks unemployed from 
age 18 to age 23. Women without a high school diploma spent as much time out of the labor 
force as they spent employed. Women with a bachelorís degree or more education spent a 
larger proportion of weeks employed than did men (74 versus 65 percent).

Duration of Employment Relationships

By their 24th birthday, nearly all young adults had held at least one job since leaving 
high school, although high school dropouts, especially female and non-Hispanic black 
dropouts, were less likely ever to have held a job than were young adults with more edu-
cation. Most jobs held through age 23 were of relatively short duration. Of the jobs held 
by 18- to 23-year-old workers, 56 percent ended in 1 year or less, and another 13 percent 
ended in less than 2 years; nine percent of jobs lasted 2 years or more. Another 22 per-
cent of jobs were ongoing at the time of the 2008-09 survey, and their ultimate duration 
is therefore not yet known. Jobs held by high school dropouts were more likely to end in 1 
year or less than were jobs held by workers with more education. (See table 5.)




Technical Note


   The estimates in this release were obtained using data from the first
12 rounds of the National Longitudinal Survey of Youth 1997 (NLSY97).
The NLSY97 collects extensive information on labor market behavior and
educational experiences.  Information about respondentsí families and
communities also is obtained in the survey.
     
   This survey is conducted by the National Opinion Research Center at
the University of Chicago and the Center for Human Resource Research at
The Ohio State University, under the direction and sponsorship of the
Bureau of Labor Statistics of the U.S. Department of Labor.  Partial
funding support for the survey has been provided by the Office of
Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention of the U.S. Department of
Justice, the Office of Vocational and Adult Education of the U.S.
Department of Education, the U.S. Department of Defense, the National
Institute of Child Health and Human Development of the U.S. Department
of Health and Human Services, and the National Science Foundation.
     
Sample

   The National Longitudinal Survey of Youth 1997 is a nationally
representative sample of 8,984 young men and women who were ages 12 
to 16 on December 31, 1996.  This sample is composed of the following
groups:
     
     --A cross-sectional sample designed to represent the non-
       institutionalized, civilian segment of young people living 
       in the U.S. in 1997 and born between January 1, 1980, and 
       December 31, 1984.
  
     --Supplemental samples of Hispanic or Latino and black youths 
       living in the U.S. in 1997 and born between January 1, 1980, 
       and December 31,1984.
     
   The twelfth round of annual interviews took place between October
2008 and May 2009. This release examines the period from respondents' 
18th birthday until the month before respondents were age 24. All re-
sults except the first two age categories of table 1 are weighted
using the survey weights from the round in which the respondents were
age 23.  The estimates of school enrollment status at ages 21, and 22
use the survey weights from the round in which the respondents were
those ages.  The survey weights correct for oversampling of some
demographic groups and nonresponse.  When weighted, the data represent
all people who were born in the years 1980 to 1984 and living in the
U.S. in 1997.  Not represented by the survey are U.S. immigrants who
were born from 1980 to 1984 and moved to the U.S. after 1997.  NLSY97
sample members remain eligible to be interviewed during military service
or if they become incarcerated or institutionalized.
     
Work History Data

   The total number of jobs that people hold during their work life is
an easy concept to understand but a difficult one to measure.  Reliable
estimates require a survey that interviews the same people over the
course of their entire work life and also keeps track of all the jobs
they ever held.  The NLSY97 tracks the number of jobs that people have
held, but the respondents in this survey are still young, and have many
years of schooling and work life ahead of them.  As the cohort continues to
age, however, more complete information will become available.
   
   A unique feature of the NLSY97 is that it collects the beginning and
ending dates of all jobs held by a respondent so that a longitudinal
history can be constructed of each respondentís work experiences.  The
NLSY97 work history data provide a week-by-week work record of each
respondent from January 1, 1994, through the most recent survey date.
These data contain information on the respondentís labor force status
each week, the usual hours worked per week at all jobs, and earnings for
all jobs.  If a respondent worked at more than one job in any week,
hours and earnings are obtained for additional jobs.  When a respondent
who missed one or more consecutive survey rounds is interviewed again,
he or she is asked to provide information about all time since the last
interview.
     
Interaction between time and age in a longitudinal survey

   Because the NLSY97 is a longitudinal survey, meaning the same people
are surveyed over time, the ages of the respondents change with each
survey round.  It is important to keep in mind this inherent link
between the calendar years and the ages of the respondents.  The
youngest respondents in the sample (birth year 1984) turned 22 during
calendar year 2006, whereas the oldest respondents (birth year 1980)
turned 22 during calendar year 2002.  Some respondents may not be used
in all tables if information about their work history is incomplete.
 
Definitions
     
   School enrollment status.  If a respondent was enrolled in college 
at any point during the month of October, he or she is counted as enrol-
led. If a respondent had not earned a high school diploma or General 
Educational Development (GED) credential, he or she is counted as a high
school dropout.
   
   Training.  The NLSY97 obtains information on formal training
experiences outside of regular schooling.  The training questions
explore what kinds of training respondents obtain, where and when they
are trained, how the training is paid for, and what skills are acquired.
Training programs include:  Business or secretarial training;
vocational, technical, or trade training; vocational rehabilitation
centers; licensed practical nursing or registered nursing programs;
apprenticeship programs; adult basic education and GED programs;
correspondence courses; formal company training or seminars; and
government training.
   
   Employed.  The NLSY97 collects employment histories for civilian jobs
and military service.  Respondents are classified as employed if they
did any work during the specified time period as paid employees, as self-
employed proprietors of their own businesses, or as unpaid workers in a
business owned by a member of their family, or if they were serving in
the Armed Forces.
   
   Unemployed.  Respondents are classified as unemployed if they did not
work during the specified time period but reported that they looked for
work or were on layoff from a job.  No probing for intensity of job
search is done.
   
   Not in the labor force.  Respondents are classified as not in the
labor force if they did not work or look for work during the specified
time period.
   
   Job.  A job is defined as an uninterrupted period of work with a
particular employer.  Jobs are therefore employer-based, not position-
based.  If a respondent indicates that he or she left a job but in a
subsequent survey returned to the same job, it would be counted as a new
job.  For example, if an individual worked in a retail establishment,
quit, and then resumed working for the same employer at a later date,
this sequence would count as two jobs, rather than one.  For self-
employed workers, each "new" job is defined by the individuals
themselves.
   
   Race and ethnic groups.  In this release, the findings are reported
for non-Hispanic whites, non-Hispanic blacks, and Hispanics or Latinos.
These groups are mutually exclusive but not exhaustive.  Other groups,
which are included in the overall totals, are not shown separately
because their representation in the survey sample is not sufficiently
large to provide statistically reliable estimates.  In other BLS
publications, estimates usually are published for whites, blacks, and
Hispanics or Latinos, but these groups are not mutually exclusive.
"Hispanic or Latino" is considered to be an ethnic group, and people in
that group can be of any race.  Most other BLS publications include
estimates for Hispanics or Latinos in the white and black race groups in
addition to the Hispanic or Latino ethnic group.
   
   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.




Table 1.  Educational attainment of young adults during the October when ages 21 to 23 in 2001-2008 
by sex, race, and Hispanic or Latino ethnicity        							
(Percent distribution)											
                                                             Educational attainment
                                                     High School   General Educational
Characteristic                      Total     High  graduates, not  Development (GED)    Enrolled    Bachelor's
                                             school   enrolled in    recipients, not       in          degree
                                            dropouts   college     enrolled in college   college     or more(1)

Total, October when age 21.....   100.0       12.2      42.6               6.5            37.2          1.0
						
  Men .........................   100.0       13.5      45.4               7.7            32.3          0.7
  Women .......................   100.0       10.8      39.7               5.2            42.6          1.3
						
  White, non-Hispanic .........   100.0	       9.7      41.5               6.4            41.2          1.0
  Black, non-Hispanic .........   100.0       19.1      44.7               8.5            25.8          0.9
  Hispanic or Latino ..........   100.0       18.2      48.8               5.4            25.9          0.7
						
Total, October when age 22 ....   100.0       11.4      44.3               7.3            27.1          9.6
						
  Men .........................   100.0       12.4      46.6               8.5            25.2          6.8
  Women .......................   100.0       10.2      41.9               6.0            29.1         12.7
						
  White, non-Hispanic .........   100.0        9.0      43.2               7.0            29.0         11.5
  Black, non-Hispanic .........   100.0       17.4      47.3              10.4            20.2          4.3
  Hispanic or Latino ..........   100.0       17.3      49.6               5.9            22.8          3.6
						
Total, October when age 23 ....   100.0       10.6      46.5               8.0            16.0         18.7
						
  Men .........................   100.0       11.8      48.7               9.3            15.8         14.3
  Women .......................   100.0        9.5      44.1               6.6            16.2         23.4
						
  White, non-Hispanic .........   100.0        8.4      45.5               7.6            15.8         22.4
  Black, non-Hispanic .........   100.0       16.5      48.4              11.4            14.7          8.7
  Hispanic or Latino ..........   100.0       16.6      52.7               6.8            15.5          8.1


    1 Includes persons with bachelor's, master's or doctoral degrees or professional degrees such as law or 
medical degrees. Also includes persons enrolled in graduate programs.

    NOTE:  The National Longitudinal Survey of Youth 1997 consists of young men and women who were ages 12 to 
16 on December 31, 1996.  Race and Hispanic or Latino ethnicity groups are mutually exclusive but not exhaustive. 
Other race groups, which are included in the overall totals, are not shown separately because their representation
in the survey sample is not sufficiently large to provide statistically reliable estimates.




Table 2.  School or training enrollment status during the October when age 23 in 2003-2008 by school
enrollment status during the October when age 22, sex, race, and Hispanic or Latino ethnicity

(Percent distribution)

School enrollment status                  School enrollment status during 
  during the October                          the October when age 23             Earned Bachelor's Degree        
    when age 22
                                      Not enrolled      Enrolled  Enrolled in   Not enrolled     Enrolled in     
                            Total     in school or        in      training      in graduate     graduate or  
                                     training program  college(2)  program(3)     program    professional program

High School graduates, not
enrolled in college(1) ...  100.0         87.7           6.9          5.1            0.4             0.1
       
						
Men ....................... 100.0         88.1           6.2          5.5            0.1             0.1
Women ..................... 100.0         87.2           7.7          4.5            0.6             (4)
	
White, non-Hispanic ....... 100.0         87.7           6.8          5.0            0.5             0.1
  Men ..................... 100.0         87.7           6.6          5.4            0.2             0.1
  Women ................... 100.0         87.7           7.0          4.4            0.9             0.0
Black, non-Hispanic ....... 100.0         88.9           6.6          4.4            0.1             (4)
  Men ..................... 100.0         91.4           4.3          4.1            0.1             (4)
  Women ................... 100.0         85.9           9.3          4.7            0.1             (4)
Hispanic or Latino ........ 100.0         87.6           6.0          6.3            (4)             0.1
  Men ..................... 100.0         86.8           5.7          7.4            (4)             (4)
  Women ................... 100.0         88.4           6.4          4.9            (4)             0.3
						
Enrolled in college ....... 100.0         21.5           45.3         1.0           26.1             6.1
						
Men ....................... 100.0         22.3           48.4         0.8           22.7             5.9
Women ..................... 100.0         20.8           42.5         1.1           29.2             6.4
						
White, non-Hispanic ....... 100.0         20.2           42.4         1.0           29.8             6.6
  Men ..................... 100.0         20.5           45.8         0.7           26.6             6.3
  Women ................... 100.0         19.9           39.2         1.3           32.8             6.8
Black, non-Hispanic ....... 100.0         24.8           53.3         0.6           17.0             4.3
  Men ..................... 100.0         23.1           58.6         0.5           13.5             4.3
  Women ................... 100.0         26.0           49.5         0.6           19.6             4.3
Hispanic or Latino ........ 100.0         27.6           52.7         0.8           14.9             3.9
  Men ..................... 100.0         33.7           51.3         0.4           11.7             2.9
  Women ................... 100.0         21.1           54.2         1.2           18.4             5.1


    1  Respondents who have received a General Educational Development (GED) credential are counted as high 
school graduates.
    2  A small percent of respondents were enrolled in both formal schooling (that is, high school or college)
and training.  They are counted in the formal schooling categories only.
    3  Training includes any courses, training programs, or apprenticeships designed to help people find a job, 
improve their job skills, or learn a new job.  Training also may include a GED preparation course.
    4  Less than .05 percent.
    NOTE:  This table excludes individuals who had earned a bachelor's degree by the October when age 22. The
National Longitudinal Survey of Youth 1997 consists of young men and women who were ages 12 to 16
on December 31, 1996.  Race and Hispanic or Latino ethnicity groups are mutually exclusive but not exhaustive.
Other race groups, which are included in the overall totals, are not shown separately because their 
representation in the survey sample is not sufficiently large to provide statistically reliable estimates.




Table 3.  Employment status of young adults not enrolled in school during the October when age 23
in 2003-2008 by educational attainment status, sex, race, and Hispanic or Latino ethnicity

(Percent distribution)

   Educational attainment                   Employment status during the October when age 23
during the October when age 23
                                        	Employed  Serving in               Not in the 
                                        Total   civilian  Armed Forces	Unemployed labor force

Total ..............................    100.0     75.8       3.0           4.2         17.0

  Men ..............................    100.0     76.5       4.6           4.4         14.5
  Women ............................    100.0     75.1       1.3           3.9         19.7

  White, non-Hispanic ..............    100.0     78.4       2.9           3.6         15.0
  Black, non-Hispanic ..............    100.0     66.1       3.0           7.3         23.6
  Hispanic or Latino ...............    100.0     75.2       3.2           3.8         17.8

High school dropouts ...............    100.0     60.1       0.1           7.8         31.9

  Men ..............................    100.0     68.1       0.2           9.2         22.5
  Women ............................    100.0     49.6       (1)           6.0         44.4

  White, non-Hispanic ..............    100.0     64.6       (1)           7.9         27.6
  Black, non-Hispanic ..............    100.0     43.7       0.6          11.7         44.1
  Hispanic or Latino ...............    100.0     68.4       (1)           4.8         26.9

High school graduates, 
never enrolled in college(2) .......    100.0     75.1       5.0           5.4         14.4

  Men ..............................    100.0     76.6       7.9           5.5         10.0
  Women ............................    100.0     73.0       0.9           5.4         20.7

  White, non-Hispanic ..............    100.0     78.1       4.8           4.6         12.5
  Black, non-Hispanic ..............    100.0     67.1       4.9           8.6         19.4
  Hispanic or Latino ...............    100.0     70.9       6.3           5.5         17.3

Some college, no longer enrolled ...    100.0     80.6       4.1           3.2         12.0

  Men ..............................    100.0     82.6       5.9           2.9          8.6
  Women ............................    100.0     78.6       2.4           3.5         15.5

  White, non-Hispanic ..............    100.0     82.3       4.5           2.7         10.5
  Black, non-Hispanic ..............    100.0     72.9       3.5           5.7         17.9
  Hispanic or Latino ...............    100.0     82.1       3.8           3.4         10.7

Bachelor's degree or more, 
no longer enrolled(3) ..............    100.0     88.5       1.5           3.1          6.9

  Men ..............................    100.0     88.4       1.7           3.3          6.6
  Women ............................    100.0     88.6       1.3           3.0          7.1

  White, non-Hispanic ..............    100.0     88.5       1.4           3.2          6.9
  Black, non-Hispanic ..............    100.0     91.0       0.6           2.2          6.3
  Hispanic or Latino ...............    100.0     84.9       1.6           0.7         12.8


   1  Less than .05 percent.
   2  Respondents who have received a General Educational Development (GED) credential are counted
as high school graduates.
   3  Includes persons with bachelor's, master's, or doctoral degrees or professional degrees such as 
law or medical degrees.
   NOTE:  The National Longitudinal Survey of Youth 1997 consists of young men and women who were
ages 12 to 16 on December 31, 1996.  Race and Hispanic or Latino ethnicity groups are mutually
exclusive but not exhaustive.  Other race groups, which are included in the overall totals, are
not shown separately because their representation in the survey sample is not sufficiently large to 
provide statistically reliable estimates.




Table 4.  Percent of weeks individuals were employed, unemployed, or not in the labor force from age 18 through 
age 23 in 1998-2008 by educational attainment, sex, race, and Hispanic or Latino ethnicity
  
	                                                            Percent of total weeks while ages 18 to 23
                                                           Average                 in 1998-2008
                   Characteristic                          number                                            
					                    of        Employed     Unemployed    Not in 
                                                           jobs                                labor Force
					
Total, ages 18 to 23 in 1998-2008 .......................  4.9         72.2           5.7         21.8
  Less than a high school diploma .......................  4.6         54.2          11.2         33.9
  High school graduates, never enrolled in college(1) ...  4.6         73.8           7.5         18.4
  Some college or associate degree ......................  5.0         77.0           4.6         18.1
  Bachelor's degree or more(2) ..........................  5.4         69.8           3.0         26.9

Men .....................................................  4.7         73.7           6.2         19.8
  Less than a high school diploma .......................  4.9         61.4          12.7         25.4
  High school graduates, never enrolled in college(1) ...  4.6         78.2           7.7         13.8
  Some college or associate degree ......................  4.7         77.8           4.6         17.3
  Bachelor's degree or more(2) ..........................  4.9         64.5           3.2         32.0

Women ...................................................  5.1         70.7           5.1         23.8
  Less than a high school diploma .......................  4.3         45.1           9.3         44.8
  High school graduates, never enrolled in college(1) ...  4.5         67.4           7.2         25.1
  Some college or associate degree ......................  5.2         76.1           4.6         19.0
  Bachelor's degree or more(2) ..........................  5.8         73.7           2.9         23.2

White, non-Hispanic .....................................  5.2         74.9           4.6         20.1
  Less than a high school diploma .......................  5.6         58.0          10.5         30.7
  High school graduates, never enrolled in college(1) ...  4.8         77.5           6.1         16.0
  Some college or associate degree ......................  5.1         79.5           3.6         16.5
  Bachelor's degree or more(2) ..........................  5.5         70.8           2.9         26.0

Black, non-Hispanic .....................................  4.5         61.9          10.2         27.6
  Less than a high school diploma .......................  3.3         40.3          15.7         43.5
  High school graduates, never enrolled in college(1) ...  4.2         61.4          12.3         25.9
  Some college or associate degree ......................  4.9         69.0           8.2         22.5
  Bachelor's degree or more(2) ..........................  5.5         66.4           4.3         29.1

Hispanic  or Latino .....................................  4.3         72.3           6.2         21.2
  Less than a high school diploma .......................  3.9         59.9           8.4         31.2
  High school graduates, never enrolled in college(1) ...  4.1         72.9           7.3         19.4
  Some college or associate degree ......................  4.5         76.0           5.2         18.5
  Bachelor's degree or more(2) ..........................  4.8         73.0           3.2         23.6

   1  Includes persons with a high school diploma or equivalent.
   2  Includes persons with a bachelor's, master's or doctoral degrees or professional degrees,
such as law or medical degrees.
   NOTE:  This table excludes individuals who had not yet turned age 24 when interviewed in 2008-09.
Percentages do not sum to 100 due to a small number of respondents whose employment status cannot be
determined for all weeks.
   The National Longitudinal Survey of Youth 1997 consists of men and women who were ages
were ages 12 to 16 on December 31, 1996.  Race and Hispanic or Latino ethnicity groups are mutually
exclusive but notexhaustive.  Other race groups, which are included in the overall totals, are not 
shown separately because their representation in the survey sample is not sufficiently large to 
provide statistically reliable estimates.  Educational attainment is determined as of age 23.




Table 5.  Duration of employment relationship with a single employer for all jobs from the time a person left high
school through age 23 by educational attainment, sex, race, and Hispanic or Latino ethnicity		

                                                                      Percent distribution of duration of employment
                                                                                        relationships
                                                           Percent
                                                            ever                More than 1          Ongoing at the
                 Characteristic                            held a      1 year    year but    2 years    2008 - 09
                                                            job       or less   less than    or more     survey
                                                                                 2 years     

Total, ages 18 to 23 in 1998-2008 ........................  98.2        56.4      13.0         9.2         21.5
  Less than a high school diploma ........................  93.9        65.0      11.1         6.4         17.4
  High school graduates, never enrolled in college(1) ....  97.8        56.4      12.8         8.5         22.2
  Some college or associate degree .......................  98.7        54.8      13.3        10.0         21.9
  Bachelor's degree or more(2) ...........................  99.6        55.4      13.5         9.6         21.4

Men ......................................................  98.0        55.6      12.8         8.5         23.1
  Less than a high school diploma ........................  95.4        61.7      11.9         5.7         20.7
  High school graduates, never enrolled in college(1) ....  97.8        55.1      13.1         8.3         23.6
  Some college or associate degree .......................  98.2        54.0      13.1         9.4         23.5
  Bachelor's degree or more(2) ...........................  99.2        56.3      12.4         8.7         22.6

Women ....................................................  98.4        57.2      13.2         9.8         19.8
  Less than a high school diploma ........................  92.0        69.4      10.1         7.4         13.0
  High school graduates, never enrolled in college(1) ....  97.6        58.5      12.4         8.8         20.3
  Some college or associate degree .......................  99.1        55.6      13.5        10.6         20.3
  Bachelor's degree or more(2) ...........................   (3)        54.9      14.2        10.3         20.6

White, non-Hispanic ......................................  98.8        56.2      12.9         9.5         21.4
  Less than a high school diploma ........................  96.2        67.8      10.4         6.1         15.7
  High school graduates, never enrolled in college(1) ....  98.3        55.5      12.7         9.0         22.8
  Some college or associate degree .......................  99.2        54.7      12.9        10.5         21.8
  Bachelor's degree or more(2) ...........................  99.7        55.6      13.7         9.6         21.0

Black, non-Hispanic ......................................  95.6        61.0      12.2         6.8         20.0
  Less than a high school diploma ........................  87.9        68.9      10.7         3.9         16.6
  High school graduates, never enrolled in college(1) ....  95.1        61.9      12.6         6.1         19.4
  Some college or associate degree .......................  97.7        59.0      12.5         7.2         21.3
  Bachelor's degree or more(2) ...........................   (3)        56.7      11.5        10.4         21.4

Hispanic  or Latino ......................................  98.1        52.7      13.6         9.8         23.8
  Less than a high school diploma ........................  94.7        56.7      13.1         9.2         21.0
  High school graduates, never enrolled in college(1) ....  98.3        53.0      13.1        10.2         23.7
  Some college or associate degree .......................  98.8        52.1      14.1         9.5         24.3
  Bachelor's degree or more(2) ...........................   (3)        48.9      14.0        11.0         26.0


   1  Includes persons with a high school diploma or equivalent.
   2  Includes persons with bachelor's, master's, or doctoral degrees or professional degrees such as law or medical 
degrees.
   3  Number rounds to 100 percent.
   NOTE:  This table excludes individuals who  had not yet turned age 24 when interviewed in 2008-09.
The National Longitudinal Survey of Youth 1997 consists of young men and women who were ages 12 to 16 on December 31,
1996. Race and Hispanic or Latino ethnicity groups are mutually exclusive but not exhaustive.  Other race groups, 
which are included in the overall totals, are not shown separately because their representation in the survey sample 
is not sufficiently large to provide statistically reliable estimates.  Educational attainment is determined as of
age 23.		




Last Modified Date: February 09, 2011