For release 10:00 a.m. (EDT) Thursday, April 27, 2017 USDL-17-0477
Technical information: (202) 691-6378 * email@example.com * 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
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)