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Economic News Release
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College Enrollment and Work Activity of Recent High School and College Graduates Summary

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).



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Last Modified Date: April 26, 2019