|Figure 29. Labor force participation rate of high school completers in year of completion, by college enrollment status: Various years, October 1965 to October 2003|
|NOTE: The labor force participation rate is the percentage of civilians either employed or seeking employment.|
SOURCE: U.S. Department of Labor, Bureau of Labor Statistics, Employment of School-Age Youth, Graduates, and Dropouts, various years; and annual news release, College Enrollment and Work Activity of High School Graduates, various years.
About 78 percent of 2003 high school completers not enrolled in college were in the labor force in the October following their high school completion. There was no difference detected between this percentage and the corresponding percentage in 1965. In contrast, the proportion of college entrants who were also in the labor force was higher in 2003 than in 1965 (42 vs. 28 percent). However, there has been no consistent pattern of change since 1980. The proportion of high school completers enrolled in college immediately after high school also increased, from 51 percent in 1965 to 64 percent in 2003.