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Summer 2000 Vol. 44, Number 2

OOChart: High School graduates about twice as likely as dropouts to work or go to school

Employment status of people aged 16 to 24 who were 1998 high school graduates or school year 1997-98 high school dropouts, October 1998 (percent)


Employed Unemployed
Not in labor force-Enrolled in college Not in labor force-Not enrolled in college

* Percents do not total 100 because of rounding.

Bureau of Labor Statistics data show that, within months of their graduation, students who finish high school are about twice as likely to be working or enrolled in college as are those who drop out.

The Current Population Survey asked for the October 1998 employment status of people aged 16 to 24 who had graduated from high school in 1998 or had dropped out of high school during the 1997-98 school year. Of the high school graduates, half were employed and one-third were not in the labor force but were enrolled in college. In contrast, about 44 percent of the high school dropouts were employed.

Strikingly different, however, was the proportion of the two groups that was either unemployed or not in the labor force and not enrolled in college—a combined 16 percent for graduates, but 56 percent for dropouts.

SOURCE: Bureau of Labor Statistics, Current Population Survey, October supplement

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U.S. Department of Labor
Bureau of Labor Statistics

Last Updated: November 6, 2000