Recent high school graduates and the work force

March 29, 2006

Of all 2005 high school graduates, 57.2 percent were participating in the labor force in October 2005.

Labor force participation rates of 2005 high school graduates 16 to 24 years old, October 2005
[Chart data—TXT]

Among recent high school graduates in college, 91.2 percent were full-time students. Of these full-time students, 44.3 percent were in the labor force, either working or looking for work. In contrast, 79.0 percent of part-time college students participated in the labor force.

About two-thirds of the 2005 high school graduates enrolled in college attended 4-year institutions. The labor force participation rate for these students was 39.9 percent. In contrast, 61.3 percent of the recent high school graduates enrolled in 2-year institutions were in the labor force.

Recent high school graduates who were not enrolled in college in the fall of 2005 were more likely than enrolled graduates to participate in the labor force (78.5 versus 47.4 percent).

This information is from a supplement to the October 2005 Current Population Survey. Additional information is available from "College Enrollment and Work Activity of 2005 High School Graduates" (PDF) (TXT), news release USDL 06-514.


Bureau of Labor Statistics, U.S. Department of Labor, The Economics Daily, Recent high school graduates and the work force on the Internet at (visited September 29, 2016).


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