College Enrollment and Work Activity of High School Graduates News Release

For release 10:00 a.m. (EDT) Thursday, April 27, 2017           USDL-17-0477

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
                            2016 HIGH SCHOOL GRADUATES


In October 2016, 69.7 percent of 2016 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 2016 were about 
twice as likely as enrolled graduates to be working or looking for work 
(72.3 percent, compared with 38.4 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 3.1 million youth age 16 to 24 who graduated from high school between 
January and October 2016, about 2.2 million (69.7 percent) were enrolled in 
college in October. The college enrollment rate of recent high school graduates 
in October 2016 was little changed from the rate in October 2015 (69.2 percent). 
For 2016 high school graduates, the college enrollment rate was 71.9 percent for 
young women and 67.4 percent for young men. The college enrollment rate of recent 
Asian graduates (92.4 percent) was higher than for their Hispanic (72.0 percent), 
White (69.7 percent), and Black (58.2 percent) counterparts. (See table 1.)

The labor force participation rate (the proportion of the population working or 
looking for work) for recent high school graduates enrolled in college was 38.4 
percent. The participation rates for male and female graduates enrolled in 
college were 41.5 percent and 35.7 percent, respectively.

Among recent high school graduates enrolled in college in October 2016, about 9 
in 10 were full-time students. Recent graduates enrolled as full-time students 
were about half as likely to be in the labor force (34.6 percent) as were their 
peers enrolled part time (77.1 percent).

About 2 in 3 recent high school graduates enrolled in college attended 4-year 
colleges. Of these students, 31.5 percent participated in the labor force in 
October 2016, lower than the 51.8 percent for recent graduates enrolled in 
2-year colleges.

Recent high school graduates not enrolled in college in the fall of 2016 were 
much more likely than enrolled graduates to be in the labor force (72.3 percent, 
compared with 38.4 percent). The unemployment rate for recent high school 
graduates not enrolled in college was 19.3 percent, more than double the rate 
of 8.0 percent for recent graduates enrolled in college.

Between October 2015 and October 2016, 513,000 young people dropped out of high 
school. The labor force participation rate for recent dropouts (50.9 percent) 
was lower than the rate for recent high school graduates not enrolled in 
college (72.3 percent). The jobless rate for recent high school dropouts was 
31.9 percent in October 2016, higher than the rate for recent high school 
graduates not enrolled in college (19.3 percent).

All Youth Enrolled in High School or College

In October 2016, 57.5 percent of the nation's 22.1 million 16- to 24-year olds 
were enrolled in high school (9.5 million) or in college (12.5 million). 
The labor force participation rate (36.0 percent) and the unemployment rate 
(8.4 percent) for youth enrolled in school were both essentially unchanged from 
October 2015 to October 2016. (See table 2.)

In October 2016, high school students continued to be less likely than college 
students to participate in the labor force (20.7 percent, compared with 47.7 
percent). Female high school students were more likely to be in the labor force 
(23.5 percent) than their male counterparts (18.1 percent).

Full-time college students were much less likely to participate in the labor 
force in October 2016 than were part-time students (42.3 percent versus 83.3 
percent). Among college students, labor force participation was lower for 
Asians (31.2 percent) than for Blacks (45.0 percent), Hispanics (47.5 percent), 
and Whites (49.8 percent). Labor force participation rates for female and male 
college students were similar (48.3 percent and 47.0 percent, respectively).

The unemployment rate for high school students, at 16.3 percent in October 
2016, was almost three times the rate for college students (5.9 percent). Among 
Blacks, Whites, and Hispanics, unemployment rates were higher for high school 
students than for college students.

All Youth Not Enrolled in School

In October 2016, 16.3 million persons age 16 to 24 were not enrolled in school. 
The labor force participation rate of youth not enrolled in school, at 79.7 
percent, was little changed over the year. Among youth not enrolled in school 
in October 2016, young men continued to be more likely than young women to 
participate in the labor force (83.7 percent, compared with 75.5 percent). Labor 
force participation rates for not-enrolled men and women were highest for those 
with a bachelor's degree or higher (92.9 percent and 91.9 percent, respectively) 
and lowest for men and women with less than a high school diploma (69.6 percent 
and 47.4 percent, respectively). (See table 2.)

The unemployment rate for youth age 16 to 24 not enrolled in school, at 11.2 
percent, was little changed over the year. Among not-enrolled youth who did not 
have a high school diploma, unemployment rates in October 2016 were 24.0 percent 
for young men and 20.7 percent for young women. In contrast, the jobless rates 
of young men and women with at least a bachelor's degree were 8.3 percent and 
5.1 percent, respectively. Black youth not enrolled in school had an 
unemployment rate of 20.4 percent in October 2016, higher than the rates for 
their Hispanic (10.5 percent), White (9.4 percent), and Asian (7.7 percent) 
counterparts.




Technical Note

   The estimates in this release were obtained from a supplement to the October 2016
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.

   Additional information about the reliability of data from the CPS and estimating
standard errors is available at www.bls.gov/cps/documentation.htm#reliability.

Concepts

   The principal concepts used in connection with the school enrollment series are described
briefly below.

   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
regular school.

   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
fewer hours.

   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
recent dropouts.




Table 1. Labor force status of 2016 high school graduates and 2015-16 high school dropouts 16 to 24 years old by school enrollment, educational attainment, sex, race, and Hispanic or Latino ethnicity, October 2016
[Numbers in thousands]
Characteristic Civilian
noninsti-
tutional
population
Civilian labor force Not in labor
force
Total Percent of
population
Employed Unemployed
Total Percent of
population
Number Rate

RECENT HIGH SCHOOL GRADUATES

Total, 2016 high school graduates(1)

3,137 1,526 48.7 1,327 42.3 199 13.1 1,610

Men

1,517 811 53.4 685 45.2 126 15.5 706

Women

1,620 716 44.2 642 39.6 74 10.3 904

White

2,326 1,140 49.0 1,034 44.5 106 9.3 1,186

Black or African American

409 250 61.1 172 42.0 78 31.3 159

Asian

158 32 20.2 29 18.4 3 - 126

Hispanic or Latino ethnicity

742 295 39.7 264 35.5 32 10.7 447

Enrolled in College

Total, enrolled in college

2,188 840 38.4 773 35.3 67 8.0 1,348

Enrolled in 2-year college

744 386 51.8 349 47.0 36 9.4 359

Enrolled in 4-year college

1,444 455 31.5 424 29.4 31 6.8 989

Full-time students

1,992 689 34.6 632 31.7 58 8.4 1,303

Part-time students

196 151 77.1 142 72.3 9 6.2 45

Men

1,023 425 41.5 379 37.0 46 10.7 599

Women

1,165 416 35.7 394 33.9 21 5.2 749

White

1,622 644 39.7 600 37.0 44 6.9 978

Black or African American

238 109 45.8 89 37.4 20 18.4 129

Asian

146 25 17.4 23 15.4 3 - 121

Hispanic or Latino ethnicity

534 163 30.6 149 28.0 14 8.5 371

Not enrolled in college

Total, not enrolled in college

948 686 72.3 554 58.4 132 19.3 262

Men

493 386 78.3 306 62.0 80 20.7 107

Women

455 300 65.9 248 54.4 52 17.5 155

White

704 496 70.4 434 61.6 62 12.5 208

Black or African American

171 141 82.4 83 48.4 58 41.2 30

Asian

12 6 - 6 - - - 5

Hispanic or Latino ethnicity

208 132 63.3 114 54.8 18 13.4 76

RECENT HIGH SCHOOL DROPOUTS

Total, 2013-14 high school dropouts(2)

513 261 50.9 178 34.7 83 31.9 252

Men

299 181 60.4 124 41.5 56 31.3 118

Women

214 81 37.7 54 25.1 27 33.3 134

White

362 175 48.2 115 31.7 60 34.1 188

Black or African American

94 59 63.4 41 44.2 18 - 34

Asian

13 4 - 4 - - - 9

Hispanic or Latino ethnicity

113 53 47.1 32 28.2 21 - 60

(1) Data refer to persons who graduated from high school in January through October 2016
(2) Data refer to persons who dropped out of school between October 2015 and October 2016

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).


Table 2. Labor force status of persons 16 to 24 years old by school enrollment, educational attainment, sex, race, and Hispanic or Latino ethnicity, October 2016
[Numbers in thousands]
Characteristic Civilian
noninsti-
tutional
population
Civilian labor force Not in labor
force
Total Percent of
population
Employed Unemployed
Total Percent of
population
Number Rate

Total, 16 to 24 years

38,367 20,951 54.6 18,820 49.1 2,130 10.2 17,417

Enrolled in school

Total, enrolled in school

22,058 7,947 36.0 7,276 33.0 671 8.4 14,111

Enrolled in high school(1)

9,521 1,971 20.7 1,650 17.3 321 16.3 7,550

Men

4,962 900 18.1 731 14.7 169 18.8 4,061

Women

4,560 1,071 23.5 919 20.2 152 14.2 3,489

White

6,847 1,546 22.6 1,329 19.4 217 14.0 5,301

Black or African American

1,557 196 12.6 127 8.2 69 35.2 1,362

Asian

504 75 14.9 60 11.9 15 20.1 429

Hispanic or Latino ethnicity

2,179 384 17.6 307 14.1 76 19.9 1,796

Enrolled in college

12,536 5,976 47.7 5,626 44.9 350 5.9 6,561

Enrolled in 2-year college

3,070 1,792 58.4 1,656 53.9 136 7.6 1,278

Enrolled in 4-year college

9,466 4,184 44.2 3,970 41.9 214 5.1 5,282

Full-time students

10,887 4,601 42.3 4,320 39.7 281 6.1 6,286

Part-time students

1,649 1,374 83.3 1,306 79.2 68 5.0 275

Men

5,876 2,761 47.0 2,538 43.2 223 8.1 3,116

Women

6,660 3,215 48.3 3,088 46.4 127 3.9 3,445

White

9,259 4,611 49.8 4,348 47.0 263 5.7 4,648

Black or African American

1,674 753 45.0 696 41.6 57 7.6 921

Asian

1,017 318 31.2 295 29.0 23 7.1 699

Hispanic or Latino ethnicity

2,647 1,258 47.5 1,145 43.3 113 9.0 1,389

Not enrolled in school

Total, not enrolled in school

16,309 13,004 79.7 11,544 70.8 1,460 11.2 3,306

16 to 19 years

3,120 2,102 67.4 1,674 53.7 428 20.3 1,018

20 to 24 years

13,189 10,902 82.7 9,870 74.8 1,032 9.5 2,287

Men

8,500 7,110 83.7 6,217 73.1 894 12.6 1,389

Less than a high school diploma

1,371 954 69.6 725 52.9 229 24.0 417

High school graduates, no college(2)

4,144 3,455 83.4 3,000 72.4 455 13.2 689

Some college or associate degree

1,904 1,697 89.1 1,571 82.5 126 7.4 207

Bachelor's degree and higher(3)

1,081 1,004 92.9 921 85.2 83 8.3 77

Women

7,810 5,893 75.5 5,327 68.2 566 9.6 1,916

Less than a high school diploma

964 457 47.4 362 37.6 95 20.7 507

High school graduates, no college(2)

3,182 2,249 70.7 1,982 62.3 267 11.9 933

Some college or associate degree

2,099 1,750 83.4 1,618 77.1 132 7.5 349

Bachelor's degree and higher(3)

1,565 1,438 91.9 1,365 87.2 73 5.1 127

White

12,118 9,709 80.1 8,793 72.6 915 9.4 2,409

Black or African American

2,592 2,068 79.8 1,646 63.5 422 20.4 524

Asian

706 533 75.5 492 69.7 41 7.7 173

Hispanic or Latino ethnicity

3,686 2,844 77.2 2,545 69.1 298 10.5 842

(1) Includes a small number of persons enrolled in grades below high school.
(2) Includes persons with a high school diploma or equivalent.
(3) Includes 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 than 75,000).


Last Modified Date: April 27, 2017