May 20, 2002
Between October 2000 and October 2001, slightly more than half a million youths dropped out of high school. The unemployment rate for this group was 35.9 percent in October 2001—a full 15 percentage points higher than the rate for recent high school graduates who were not enrolled in college.
Just over two thirds of young white dropouts were in the labor force either working or looking for work, as were about 70 percent of Hispanic dropouts. The unemployment rate among white dropouts was 32.4 percent, about the same as the rate of 32.6 percent for Hispanic dropouts.
Not quite half of black dropouts were in the labor force in October 2001; just over half of those labor force participants had jobs.
This information is from a supplement to the October 2001 Current Population Survey. Additional information is available from "College Enrollment and Work Activity of 2001 High School Graduates," news release USDL 02-288.