College Enrollment and Work Activity of High School Graduates News Release
For release 10:00 a.m. (EDT) Tuesday, April 22, 2014 USDL-14-0657
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
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
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.
The estimates in this release were obtained from a supplement to the October 2013
Current Population Survey (CPS), a monthly survey of about 60,000 eligible households
that provides information on the labor force, employment, and unemployment for the nation.
The survey is conducted monthly for the Bureau of Labor Statistics by the U.S. Census
Bureau. Data in this release relate to the school enrollment status of persons 16 to 24
years of age in the civilian noninstitutional population in the calendar week that
includes the 12th of October. Updated population controls for the CPS are introduced
annually with the release of January data. Additional information about population
controls is available on the BLS website at www.bls.gov/cps/documentation.htm#pop.
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.
Reliability of the estimates
Statistics based on the CPS are subject to both sampling and nonsampling error. When
a sample, rather than the entire population, is surveyed, there is a chance that the
sample estimates may differ from the true population values they represent. The component
of this difference that occurs because samples differ by chance is known as sampling error,
and variability is measured by the standard error, and variability is measured by the
standard error of the estimate. There is about a 90-percent chance, or level of confidence,
that an estimate based on a sample will differ by no more than 1.6 standard errors from
the true population value because of sampling error. BLS analyses are generally conducted
at the 90-percent level of confidence.
The CPS data also are affected by nonsampling error. Nonsampling error can occur for
many reasons, including the failure to sample a segment of the population, inability to
obtain information for all respondents in the sample, inability or unwillingness of
respondents to provide correct information, and errors made in the collection or
processing of the data.
A full discussion of the reliability of data from the CPS and information on estimating
standard errors is available at www.bls.gov/cps/documentation.htm#reliability.
The principal concepts used in connection with the school enrollment series are described
School enrollment. Respondents were asked whether they were currently enrolled in a
regular school, including day or night school in any type of public, parochial, or other
private school. Regular schooling is that which may advance a person toward a high school
diploma or a college, university, or professional degree. Such schools include elementary
schools, junior or senior high schools, and colleges and universities.
Other schooling, including trade schools; on-the-job training; and courses that do not
require physical presence in school, such as correspondence courses or other courses of
independent study, is included only if the credits granted count towards promotion in
Full-time and part-time enrollment in college. College students are classified as
attending full time if they were taking 12 hours of classes or more (or 9 hours of
graduate classes) during an average school week and as part time if they were taking
High school graduation status. Persons who were not enrolled in school at the time of
the survey were asked whether they had graduated from high school. Those who had graduated
were asked when they completed their high school education. Persons who had not graduated,
that is, school dropouts, were asked when they last attended a regular school. Those who
were enrolled in college at the time of the survey also were asked when they graduated
from high school.
Recent high school graduates. Persons who completed high school in the calendar year
of the survey (January through October) are recent high school graduates.
Recent high school dropouts. Persons who were not enrolled in school at the time of
the survey, attended school a year earlier, and did not have a high school diploma are
¹ Data refer
to persons who graduated from high school in January through October 2013.
² Data refer
to persons who dropped out of school between October 2012 and October 2013.
NOTE: Detail for the above race groups
(white, black or African American, and Asian) do not sum to totals because
data are not presented for all races. Persons whose ethnicity is identified
as Hispanic or Latino may be of any race. Updated population controls are
introduced annually with the release of January data. Dash indicates no data
or data that do not meet publication criteria (values not shown where base is
less than 75,000).
¹ Includes a
small number of persons enrolled in grades below high school.
persons with a high school diploma or equivalent.
persons with bachelor's, master's, professional, and doctoral degrees.
NOTE: Detail for the above race groups (white, black or
African American, and Asian) do not sum to totals because data are not
presented for all races. Persons whose ethnicity is identified as Hispanic or
Latino may be of any race. Updated population controls are introduced
annually with the release of January data. Dash indicates no data or data
that do not meet publication criteria (values not shown where base is less