For release 10:00 a.m. (EDT) Wednesday, April 17, 2013 USDL-13-0670
Technical information: (202) 691-6378 * firstname.lastname@example.org * www.bls.gov/cps
Media contact: (202) 691-5902 * PressOffice@bls.gov
COLLEGE ENROLLMENT AND WORK ACTIVITY OF
2012 HIGH SCHOOL GRADUATES
In October 2012, 66.2 percent of 2012 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 2012 were more likely than enrolled graduates
to be working or looking for work (69.6 percent compared with 38.2 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 3.2 million youth age 16 to 24 who graduated from high school between January
and October 2012, about 2.1 million (66.2 percent) were enrolled in college in October.
The college enrollment rate of recent high school graduates in October 2012 was little
different from the rate in October 2011 (68.3 percent). For 2012 graduates, the college
enrollment rate was 71.3 percent for young women and 61.3 percent for young men. The
college enrollment rate of Asians (82.2 percent) was higher than for recent white
(66.6 percent), black (58.2 percent), and Hispanic (70.3 percent) graduates. (See
The labor force participation rate (the proportion of the population working or looking
for work) for recent high school graduates enrolled in college was 38.2 percent. The
participation rates for male and female graduates enrolled in college were 34.4 and
41.6 percent, respectively.
Among recent high school graduates enrolled in college in October 2012, 87.8 percent
were full-time students. Recent graduates enrolled as full-time students were about
half as likely to be in the labor force (33.9 percent) as were their peers enrolled
part time (69.2 percent).
About 6 in 10 recent high school graduates enrolled in college attended 4-year
institutions. Of these students, 30.8 percent participated in the labor force,
compared with 47.9 percent of recent graduates enrolled in 2-year colleges.
Recent high school graduates not enrolled in college in the fall of 2012 were more
likely than enrolled graduates to be in the labor force (69.6 percent compared with
38.2 percent). The unemployment rate for recent high school graduates not enrolled in
school was 34.4 percent, compared with 17.7 percent for recent graduates enrolled in
Between October 2011 and October 2012, 370,000 young people dropped out of high school.
The labor force participation rate for recent dropouts (47.2 percent) was lower than
for recent high school graduates not enrolled in college (69.6 percent). The jobless
rate for recent high school dropouts was 49.6 percent, compared with 34.4 percent for
recent high school graduates not enrolled in college.
All Youth Enrolled in High School or College
In October 2012, 58.6 percent of the nation's 16- to -24 year olds, or 22.7 million
young people, were enrolled in high school (10.0 million) or in college (12.7 million).
The labor force participation rate (38.4 percent) and unemployment rate (13.7 percent)
of youth enrolled in school in October 2012 were essentially unchanged from October
2011. (See table 2.)
In October 2012, college students continued to be more likely to participate in the
labor force than high school students (50.9 percent compared with 22.5 percent). Those
attending college full time had a much lower labor force participation rate than did
part-time students (45.7 and 80.7 percent, respectively). 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 somewhat more likely to be in the
labor force (52.0 percent) than their male counterparts (49.6 percent). Female high school
students were also somewhat more likely to be in the labor force (24.2 percent) than were
males (21.0 percent).
The unemployment rate for high school students, at 23.0 percent in October 2012, was more
than twice the rate for college students (10.5 percent). Unemployment rates for black
(39.1 percent) and Hispanic (32.7 percent) high school students continued to be higher
than for white high school students (19.8 percent).
All Youth Not Enrolled in School
In October 2012, 16.1 million persons age 16 to 24 were not enrolled in school. The labor
force participation rate of youth not enrolled in school (79.3 percent) in October 2012
was little different from the rate a year earlier. Among youth not enrolled in school in
October 2012, men continued to be more likely than women to participate in the labor
force--83.6 percent compared with 74.5 percent. Labor force participation rates for
not-enrolled men and women were highest for college graduates (94.1 and 93.8 percent,
respectively) and lowest for men and women with less than a high school diploma (73.2
and 50.0 percent, respectively). (See table 2.)
The unemployment rate (16.5 percent) for youths age 16 to 24 not enrolled in school in
October 2012 was essentially unchanged from October 2011. Among youth not in school in
October 2012, unemployment rates for young men and young women without a high school
diploma were similar (28.8 and 28.7 percent, respectively). Compared with youth without
a high school diploma, the jobless rates of young men and women with at least a bachelor's
degree were much lower--8.0 and 6.2 percent, respectively. Black youth not enrolled in
school had an unemployment rate of 29.2 percent in October 2012, higher than the rates
for their white (14.1 percent), Asian (13.9 percent), and Hispanic (17.8 percent)