Back to school: enrollment and employment in October 2014

August 31, 2015

It’s that time of year when millions of students head back to school. Let’s take a look at how many people attend high school and college in the United States and how many of them work. In October 2014, 9.4 million people ages 16 to 24 were enrolled in high school. Another 12.3 million young people attended college, 3.3 million at 2-year colleges and 9.1 million at 4-year colleges. There were 16.9 million 16- to 24-year-olds who did not attend school.



Labor force status of people ages 16 to 24 in October 2014 by school enrollment
Characteristic Population Employed Unemployed Not in labor force

Enrolled in high school

9,445,000 1,722,000 387,000 7,335,000

Enrolled in 2-year college

3,288,000 1,752,000 184,000 1,351,000

Enrolled in 4-year college

9,057,000 3,967,000 266,000 4,824,000

Not enrolled in school

16,861,000 11,482,000 1,828,000 3,550,000

College students were more likely to work than high school students. Among students at 2-year colleges, 53.3 percent were employed in October 2014. By comparison, 43.8 percent of students at 4-year colleges were employed. Among high school students, 1.7 million–or 18.2 percent–had jobs in October 2014. Young people not enrolled in school were the most likely to work; 68.1 percent of 16- to 24-year-olds who were not enrolled in school had jobs in October 2014.

These data are from the Current Population Survey. For more information, see “College Enrollment and Work Activity of 2014 High School Graduates” (HTML) (PDF).


Bureau of Labor Statistics, U.S. Department of Labor, The Economics Daily, Back to school: enrollment and employment in October 2014 on the Internet at (visited June 22, 2018).


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