College Enrollment and Work Activity of 2013 High School Graduates

For release 10:00 a.m. (EDT) Tuesday, April 22, 2014                   USDL-14-0657

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
                             2013 HIGH SCHOOL GRADUATES


In October 2013, 65.9 percent of 2013 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 2013 were over 
twice as likely as enrolled graduates to be working or looking for work--74.2 
percent compared with 34.1 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 nearly 3.0 million youth age 16 to 24 who graduated from high school between
January and October 2013, about 2.0 million (65.9 percent) were enrolled in college
in October. The college enrollment rate of recent high school graduates in October
2013 was little different from the rate in October 2012 (66.2 percent). For 2013
graduates, the college enrollment rate was 68.4 percent for young women and 63.5 
percent for young men. The college enrollment rate of Asians (79.1 percent) was higher
than the rates for recent white (67.1 percent), black (59.3 percent), and Hispanic
(59.9 percent) graduates. (See table 1.) 

In October 2013, 34.1 percent of recent high school graduates who were enrolled in 
college participated in the labor force--that is, they were working or looking for 
work. The participation rates for male and female graduates enrolled in college 
were 33.7 percent and 34.5 percent, respectively.

Among recent high school graduates enrolled in college in October 2013, 92.8 
percent were full-time students. The labor force participation rate was 31.0 
percent for full-time students, much lower than the rate of 73.8 percent for 
part-time students. 

About 6 in 10 recent high school graduates enrolled in college attended 4-year 
institutions. Of these students, 27.8 percent participated in the labor force, 
compared with 45.2 percent of recent graduates enrolled in 2-year colleges. 

Recent high school graduates not enrolled in college in the fall of 2013 were 
more likely than enrolled graduates to be in the labor force (74.2 percent 
compared with 34.1 percent). The unemployment rate for high school graduates 
not enrolled in college was 30.9 percent, compared with 20.2 percent for 
graduates enrolled in college.

Between October 2012 and October 2013, 529,000 young people dropped out of high 
school. The labor force participation rate for recent dropouts (42.9 percent) 
was much lower than the rate for recent high school graduates not enrolled in 
college (74.2 percent). The jobless rate for recent high school dropouts was 
27.9 percent, compared with 30.9 percent for recent high school graduates not 
enrolled in college.  

All Youth Enrolled in High School or College

In October 2013, 56.6 percent of the nation's 16- to 24-year-olds, or 22.0 
million young people, were enrolled in high school (9.5 million) or in college 
(12.5 million). Both the labor force participation rate (37.2 percent) and 
unemployment rate (11.7 percent) of youth enrolled in school in October 2013 
were down from October 2012. (See table 2.) 

In October 2013, college students continued to be more likely to participate in 
the labor force than high school students (49.3 percent compared with 21.1 
percent). Among those attending college, the labor force participation rate was 
lower for full-time students (43.4 percent) than for part-time students (82.1 
percent). For both 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 (52.2 percent) than their male 
counterparts (45.9 percent). Labor force participation rates for male and female 
high school students were about the same (20.4 percent and 21.9 percent, respectively).

The unemployment rate for high school students, at 21.3 percent in October 2013, 
was more than twice the rate for college students (8.6 percent). For both high 
school and college students, jobless rates for blacks and Hispanics were higher 
than for whites.

All Youth Not Enrolled in School

In October 2013, 16.8 million persons age 16 to 24 were not enrolled in school. 
The labor force participation rate of youth not enrolled in school (77.7 percent) 
in October 2013 was down from the rate a year earlier. Among youth not enrolled 
in school in October 2013, young men continued to be more likely than young women 
to participate in the labor force--81.8 percent compared with 73.1 percent. Labor 
force participation rates for not-enrolled young men and women were highest 
for college graduates (96.4 percent and 91.5 percent, respectively) and lowest for 
young men and women with less than a high school diploma (64.6 percent and 50.2 
percent, respectively). (See table 2.) 

The unemployment rate (16.1 percent) for youths age 16 to 24 not enrolled in 
school in October 2013 was essentially unchanged from October 2012. Among not-
enrolled youth who did not have a high school diploma, unemployment rates in 
October 2013 were 26.4 percent for young men and 32.9 percent for young women. 
In contrast, the jobless rates for young men and women with at least a bachelor's 
degree were 7.9 percent and 6.5 percent, respectively. Black youth not enrolled 
in school had an unemployment rate of 25.6 percent in October 2013, higher than 
the rates for their white (13.6 percent), Asian (11.8 percent), and Hispanic 
(16.8 percent) counterparts. 



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Last Modified Date: April 22, 2014