College Enrollment and Work Activity of High School Graduates News Release

For release 10:00 a.m. (EDT) Thursday, April 25, 2019 	                  USDL-19-0697

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 RECENT
                  HIGH SCHOOL AND COLLEGE GRADUATES -- 2018  


In October 2018, 69.1 percent of 2018 high school graduates age 16 to 24 were
enrolled in colleges or universities, the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics
reported today. Among 20- to 29-year-olds who received a bachelor's degree
in 2018, 72.3 percent were employed.

Information on school enrollment and employment status 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
recent degree recipients and school enrollment. In addition to data on recent
high school graduates age 16 to 24, this news release presents information on
recent degree recipients age 20 to 29. For more information, see the Technical
Note in this news release.

Following are some highlights from the October 2018 data:

   --Among recent high school graduates age 16 to 24, college enrollment rates
     for men and women were 66.9 percent and 71.3 percent, respectively. (See
     table 1.)

   --Among 16- to 24-year-olds, 47.2 percent of recent high school dropouts were
     working or looking for work, lower than the labor force participation rate
     of 74.0 percent for recent high school graduates not enrolled in college.
     (See table 1.)

   --About 16.3 million persons age 16 to 24 were not enrolled in school--42.8
     percent of all persons in this age group. (See table 2.)

   --Among 20- to 29-year-olds, 75.0 percent of recent associate degree recipients,
     72.3 percent of recent bachelor's degree recipients, and 80.7 percent of recent
     advanced degree recipients were employed. (See table 3.)

   --One-fifth of recent bachelor's degree recipients age 20 to 29 were enrolled
     in school. (See table 3.)

   --Among 20- to 29-year-olds, unemployment rates for recent associate degree
     recipients, recent bachelor's degree recipients, and recent advanced degree
     recipients were 9.6 percent, 12.9 percent, and 10.4 percent, respectively.
     (See table 3.) 

Recent High School Graduates and Dropouts (Age 16 to 24)

Of the 3.2 million youth age 16 to 24 who graduated from high school between
January and October 2018, about 2.2 million (69.1 percent) were enrolled in
college in October. The college enrollment rate of recent high school graduates
in October 2018 was little changed from the rate in October 2017 (66.7 percent).
(See table 1.)

Among 2018 high school graduates age 16 to 24, the college enrollment rate for
young women was 71.3 percent in October 2018, compared with 66.9 percent for young
men. The college enrollment rate of recent graduates was 73.4 percent for Asians,
69.6 percent for Whites, 65.5 percent for Hispanics, and 63.6 percent for Blacks.
 
The labor force participation rate (the proportion of the population that is
employed or looking for work) for recent high school graduates enrolled in college
was 36.4 percent. The participation rates for male and female graduates enrolled
in college were 37.3 percent and 35.5 percent, respectively.

Among recent high school graduates enrolled in college in October 2018, about 9 in
10 were full-time students. Recent graduates enrolled as full-time students were
less than half as likely to be in the labor force (32.5 percent) as were their
peers enrolled part time (74.3 percent).

About 2 in 3 recent high school graduates enrolled in college attended 4-year
colleges. Of these students, 31.4 percent participated in the labor force in
October 2018, lower than the 44.9 percent for recent graduates enrolled in 2-year
colleges.

Recent high school graduates not enrolled in college in the fall of 2018 were about
twice as likely as enrolled graduates to be in the labor force (74.0 percent versus
36.4 percent). The unemployment rate for recent high school graduates not enrolled
in college was 18.6 percent, higher than the rate of 10.1 percent for recent
graduates enrolled in college.

Between October 2017 and October 2018, 527,000 young people dropped out of high
school. The labor force participation rate for recent dropouts (47.2 percent) was
much lower than the rate for recent high school graduates not enrolled in college
(74.0 percent). The jobless rate for recent high school dropouts was 13.7 percent
in October 2018; the rate for recent high school graduates not enrolled in college
was 18.6 percent.

All Youth Enrolled in High School or College (Age 16 to 24)

In October 2018, 57.2 percent of 16- to 24-year-olds, or 21.7 million youth, were
enrolled in high school (9.4 million) or in college (12.3 million). The labor force
participation rate for youth enrolled in school, at 36.7 percent, changed little
from October 2017 to October 2018. The unemployment rate (6.7 percent) for youth
enrolled in school was down from the previous year. (See table 2.)

In October 2018, high school students continued to be less likely than college
students to participate in the labor force (22.7 percent, compared with 47.5 percent).
In both high school and college, female students were more likely to participate in
the labor force than their male counterparts. 

Among college students, those enrolled full time were much less likely to participate
in the labor force in October 2018 than were part-time students (42.0 percent versus
83.4 percent). Students at 4-year colleges were also less likely to be in the labor
force than were students at 2-year schools (45.0 percent and 55.3 percent, respectively).
The labor force participation rate was lower for Asian college students (28.2 percent)
than for their Black (47.1 percent), White (50.4 percent), and Hispanic (52.5 percent)
counterparts. 

The unemployment rate for high school students, at 10.5 percent in October 2018,
continued to be higher than the rate for college students (5.3 percent). 

All Youth Not Enrolled in School (Age 16 to 24)

In October 2018, 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 79.1 percent, was
little changed over the year. Among youth not enrolled in school in October 2018,
young men continued to be more likely than young women to participate in the labor
force (81.1 percent, compared with 76.9 percent). Labor force participation rates for
not-enrolled men and women were highest for those with a bachelor's degree or higher
(92.1 percent and 92.6 percent, respectively) and lowest for men and women with less
than a high school diploma (63.3 percent and 54.0 percent, respectively). (See table
2.)

The unemployment rate for youth age 16 to 24 not enrolled in school, at 9.1 percent,
was essentially unchanged over the year. Among not-enrolled youth who did not have a
high school diploma, unemployment rates in October 2018 were 15.7 percent for young
men and 12.3 percent for young women. The jobless rates of both young men and young
women with at least a bachelor's degree were 6.6 percent. Among youth not enrolled in
school, the unemployment rate was 15.0 percent for Blacks, 12.6 percent for Asians,
9.0 percent for Hispanics, and 7.6 percent for Whites.

Recent College Graduates (Age 20 to 29)

Between January and October 2018, 1.1 million 20- to 29-year-olds earned a bachelor's
degree; of these, 810,000 (or 72.3 percent) were employed in October 2018. The
unemployment rate for recent college graduates with a bachelor's degree was 12.9 percent
in October 2018. (See table 3.)

There was little difference in the likelihood of being employed among male and female
recent bachelor's degree recipients: 71.6 percent of men and 72.8 percent of women who
recently earned a bachelor's degree were employed in October 2018. The jobless rates for
recent male and female bachelor's degree recipients were 13.6 percent and 12.5 percent,
respectively.
 
Twenty percent (or 224,000) of recent bachelor's degree recipients were enrolled in school
in October 2018. These recent graduates who were enrolled in school were much less likely
to be employed than those who were not enrolled (47.9 percent versus 78.5 percent).

Between January and October 2018, 352,000 persons age 20 to 29 earned an advanced degree--
that is, a master's, professional, or doctoral degree. Those who recently earned an
advanced degree were more likely than those who recently earned a bachelor's degree to
be employed (80.7 percent, compared with 72.3 percent). In October 2018, the unemployment
rate for recent advanced degree recipients was 10.4 percent.
 
Recent Associate Degree Recipients (Age 20 to 29)

Of the 374,000 20- to 29-year-olds who completed an associate degree between January and
October 2018, 75.0 percent were employed in October 2018. The unemployment rate for recent
associate degree recipients was 9.6 percent. (See table 3.) 

Recent associate degree recipients age 20 to 29 were more likely to have completed an
academic program than a vocational program (64.2 percent, compared with 35.8 percent).
Associate degrees in academic programs are primarily in the arts and sciences and are often
transferable to a bachelor's degree program, while associate degrees in vocational programs
prepare graduates for a specific occupation.

In October 2018, 36.9 percent of recent associate degree recipients were enrolled in school.
These recent graduates who were enrolled in school were less likely to be employed than
those who were not enrolled (62.6 percent versus 82.2 percent).




Technical Note

The estimates in this release were obtained from a supplement to the October 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 CPS 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 in
the civilian noninstitutional population in the calendar week that includes the 12th
of October. Data about recent high school graduates and dropouts and the enrollment
status of youth refer to persons 16 to 24 years of age. Data about recent associate
degree recipients and college graduates refer to persons 20 to 29 years of age.

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 its 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

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 age 16 to 24 who completed high school in
the calendar year of the survey (January through October) are recent high school
graduates.

Recent high school dropouts. Persons age 16 to 24 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.

Recent college graduates. Persons age 20 to 29 who completed a bachelor's degree
or an advanced degree--that is, a master's, professional (such as law or medicine),
or doctoral degree--in the calendar year of the survey (January through October)
are recent college graduates.

Recent associate degree recipients. Persons age 20 to 29 who completed an associate
degree (either an academic program or a vocational program) in the calendar year
of the survey (January through October) are recent associate degree recipients.
Associate degrees in academic programs are primarily in the arts and sciences and
may be transferable to a bachelor's degree program, while associate degrees in
vocational programs prepare graduates for a specific occupation.




Table 1. Labor force status of 2018 high school graduates and 2017-2018 high school dropouts 16 to 24 years old by school enrollment, educational attainment, sex, race, and Hispanic or Latino ethnicity, October 2018
[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, 2018 high school graduates(1)

3,212 1,541 48.0 1,324 41.2 218 14.1 1,670

Men

1,614 787 48.7 690 42.7 97 12.3 827

Women

1,598 755 47.2 634 39.7 121 16.0 843

White

2,347 1,148 48.9 1,016 43.3 132 11.5 1,199

Black or African American

483 246 51.0 192 39.8 54 21.9 237

Asian

184 49 26.7 34 18.5 15 - 135

Hispanic or Latino ethnicity

727 414 56.9 361 49.6 53 12.8 313

Enrolled in College

Total, enrolled in college

2,220 808 36.4 726 32.7 82 10.1 1,412

Enrolled in 2-year college

819 368 44.9 341 41.6 27 7.3 451

Enrolled in 4-year college

1,401 440 31.4 385 27.5 55 12.4 961

Full-time students

2,015 656 32.5 583 28.9 73 11.1 1,360

Part-time students

205 152 74.3 143 69.9 9 5.9 53

Men

1,080 403 37.3 366 33.9 36 9.0 677

Women

1,140 405 35.5 360 31.6 45 11.2 735

White

1,634 629 38.5 569 34.8 60 9.6 1,005

Black or African American

307 106 34.3 97 31.5 9 8.1 202

Asian

135 19 14.2 13 9.7 6 - 116

Hispanic or Latino ethnicity

476 223 46.8 209 44.0 13 6.0 253

Not enrolled in college

Total, not enrolled in college

992 733 74.0 597 60.2 136 18.6 258

Men

534 384 71.9 324 60.6 60 15.7 150

Women

458 349 76.3 273 59.8 76 21.7 108

White

713 519 72.8 447 62.7 72 13.8 194

Black or African American

176 141 80.1 95 54.3 45 32.2 35

Asian

49 30 - 21 - 9 - 19

Hispanic or Latino ethnicity

251 191 76.1 152 60.3 40 20.8 60

RECENT HIGH SCHOOL DROPOUTS

Total, 2017-2018 high school dropouts(2)

527 249 47.2 215 40.7 34 13.7 278

Men

249 117 46.8 102 41.0 14 12.3 133

Women

277 132 47.6 112 40.5 20 15.0 145

White

367 183 50.0 176 47.8 8 4.3 184

Black or African American

102 47 45.7 22 21.1 25 - 56

Asian

28 12 - 12 - - - 15

Hispanic or Latino ethnicity

172 62 36.1 62 36.1 - - 110

(1) Data refer to persons who graduated from high school in January through October 2018.
(2) Data refer to persons who dropped out of school between October 2017 and October 2018.

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 2018
[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

37,962 20,829 54.9 19,120 50.4 1,709 8.2 17,134

Enrolled in school

Total, enrolled in school

21,698 7,962 36.7 7,429 34.2 533 6.7 13,735

Enrolled in high school(1)

9,435 2,137 22.7 1,912 20.3 225 10.5 7,298

Men

4,970 1,037 20.9 919 18.5 118 11.4 3,933

Women

4,465 1,100 24.6 993 22.2 107 9.7 3,365

White

6,860 1,654 24.1 1,495 21.8 159 9.6 5,207

Black or African American

1,416 240 16.9 199 14.1 40 16.8 1,176

Asian

449 52 11.5 47 10.6 4 - 398

Hispanic or Latino ethnicity

2,193 360 16.4 307 14.0 53 14.8 1,833

Enrolled in college

12,263 5,825 47.5 5,517 45.0 308 5.3 6,437

Enrolled in 2-year college

3,008 1,663 55.3 1,564 52.0 99 6.0 1,345

Enrolled in 4-year college

9,254 4,162 45.0 3,953 42.7 209 5.0 5,092

Full-time students

10,641 4,472 42.0 4,227 39.7 246 5.5 6,168

Part-time students

1,622 1,353 83.4 1,290 79.6 63 4.6 269

Men

5,644 2,535 44.9 2,385 42.3 150 5.9 3,110

Women

6,618 3,290 49.7 3,132 47.3 159 4.8 3,328

White

8,913 4,494 50.4 4,285 48.1 209 4.7 4,420

Black or African American

1,683 793 47.1 734 43.6 59 7.4 890

Asian

1,082 306 28.2 283 26.1 23 7.4 777

Hispanic or Latino ethnicity

2,482 1,303 52.5 1,256 50.6 47 3.6 1,179

Not enrolled in school

Total, not enrolled in school

16,264 12,866 79.1 11,691 71.9 1,175 9.1 3,398

16 to 19 years

3,231 2,127 65.8 1,799 55.7 328 15.4 1,104

20 to 24 years

13,033 10,740 82.4 9,892 75.9 847 7.9 2,294

Men

8,492 6,886 81.1 6,252 73.6 634 9.2 1,606

Less than a high school diploma

1,212 767 63.3 646 53.3 121 15.7 445

High school graduates, no college(2)

4,209 3,393 80.6 3,067 72.9 325 9.6 817

Some college or associate degree

1,894 1,643 86.8 1,527 80.6 116 7.1 251

Bachelor's degree and higher(3)

1,177 1,084 92.1 1,012 86.0 72 6.6 93

Women

7,772 5,980 76.9 5,438 70.0 541 9.1 1,792

Less than a high school diploma

953 514 54.0 451 47.3 63 12.3 439

High school graduates, no college(2)

3,118 2,271 72.8 1,980 63.5 291 12.8 847

Some college or associate degree

2,090 1,703 81.5 1,615 77.3 88 5.2 387

Bachelor's degree and higher(3)

1,612 1,492 92.6 1,393 86.5 99 6.6 120

White

12,057 9,634 79.9 8,900 73.8 735 7.6 2,423

Black or African American

2,547 1,934 75.9 1,644 64.5 290 15.0 613

Asian

734 549 74.8 480 65.4 69 12.6 185

Hispanic or Latino ethnicity

4,049 3,093 76.4 2,815 69.5 277 9.0 956

(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).


Table 3. Labor force status of 2018 associate degree recipients and college graduates 20 to 29 years old by selected characteristics, October 2018
[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 ASSOCIATE DEGREE RECIPIENTS(1)

Total, 20 to 29 years

374 310 82.9 281 75.0 30 9.6 64

Men

153 134 87.7 115 74.9 20 14.6 19

Women

221 176 79.7 166 75.1 10 5.7 45

20 to 24 years

238 187 78.5 165 69.6 21 11.4 51

25 to 29 years

136 124 90.7 115 84.5 8 6.9 13

Vocational program

134 124 92.0 115 85.3 9 7.3 11

Academic program

240 187 77.9 166 69.2 21 11.1 53

Enrolled in school

138 93 67.7 86 62.6 7 7.6 44

Not enrolled in school

237 217 91.8 195 82.2 23 10.4 19

RECENT COLLEGE GRADUATES(2)

Total, 20 to 29 years

1,472 1,247 84.7 1,094 74.3 153 12.3 225

Men

592 497 83.9 432 73.1 64 13.0 95

Women

880 750 85.3 662 75.2 89 11.8 130

20 to 24 years

1,061 880 83.0 767 72.3 113 12.8 181

25 to 29 years

411 367 89.3 327 79.5 40 11.0 44

Enrolled in school

267 144 54.0 136 50.8 9 6.0 123

Not enrolled in school

1,205 1,103 91.6 958 79.6 144 13.1 102

White

1,052 925 87.9 833 79.2 92 9.9 127

Black or African American

168 136 81.3 120 71.7 16 11.8 31

Asian

192 135 70.2 99 51.4 36 26.7 57

Hispanic or Latino ethnicity

137 109 79.7 100 73.0 9 8.5 28

Bachelor's degree

Total, 20 to 29 years

1,119 930 83.1 810 72.3 120 12.9 189

Men

458 380 82.9 328 71.6 52 13.6 78

Women

661 550 83.2 481 72.8 69 12.5 111

20 to 24 years

977 811 83.0 702 71.9 109 13.4 166

25 to 29 years

143 119 83.4 108 75.3 12 9.7 24

Enrolled in school

224 112 49.9 107 47.9 4 4.0 112

Not enrolled in school

896 818 91.4 703 78.5 116 14.1 77

Advanced degree(3)

Total, 20 to 29 years

352 317 90.0 284 80.7 33 10.4 35

Men

133 117 87.6 104 78.0 13 11.0 17

Women

219 200 91.5 180 82.3 20 10.0 19

20 to 24 years

84 69 82.4 65 77.3 4 - 15

25 to 29 years

268 248 92.4 219 81.7 29 11.6 20

(1) Data refer to persons who received an associate degree in January through October 2018.
(2) Data refer to persons who received a bachelor's or higher degree in January through October 2018.
(3) Data refer to persons who received a master's, professional, or doctoral degree in January through October 2018.

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 26, 2019