Indicators

This is a supplemental indicator. Unlike core indicators, which, for the most part, are updated yearly, supplemental indicators may only be updated periodically.

College Student Employment
(Last Updated: November 2015)

The percentage of full-time 16- to 24-year-old college students who were employed declined from 52 percent to 40 percent between 2000 and 2013. During the same time period, the percentage of part-time students who were employed declined from 85 percent to 76 percent.


Figure 1. Percentage of 16- to 24-year-old college students who were employed, by attendance status and hours worked per week: October 2000 through 2013

Figure 1. Percentage of 16- to 24-year-old college students who were employed, by attendance status and hours worked per week: October 2000 through 2013


NOTE: College students include undergraduate and graduate students. Students were classified as full time if they were taking at least 12 hours of classes (or at least 9 hours of graduate classes) during an average school week and as part time if they were taking fewer hours. Hours worked per week refers to the number of hours worked at all jobs during the survey week. Percentage employed by hours worked per week excludes those who were employed but not at work during the survey week; therefore, detail may not sum to total percentage employed.
SOURCE: U.S. Department of Commerce, Census Bureau, Current Population Survey (CPS), October, 2000 through 2013. See Digest of Education Statistics 2014, table 503.20.


The percentage of 16- to 24-year-old college students who were employed has decreased in recent years. Between 2000 and 2013, the percentage of full-time students who were employed declined 13 percentage points, from 52 percent to 40 percent, and the percentage of part-time students who were employed declined 9 percentage points, from 85 percent to 76 percent. College students include undergraduate and graduate students. Students were classified as employed if they worked during any part of the survey week as paid employees; those who were employed but not at work during the survey week were also included.

In 2013, about 14 percent of full-time students worked less than 20 hours per week, 19 percent worked 20 to 34 hours per week, and 7 percent worked 35 or more hours per week. Among part-time students, about 11 percent worked less than 20 hours per week, 29 percent worked 20 to 34 hours per week, and 35 percent worked 35 or more hours per week. Between 2000 and 2013, the percentage of full-time students working less than 20 hours per week decreased from 20 to 14 percent, the percentage of those working 20 to 34 hours per week decreased from 22 to 19 percent, and the percentage of those working 35 or more hours per week decreased from 9 to 7 percent. During this period, the percentage of part-time students who worked 35 or more hours per week also decreased (from 47 to 35 percent). However, the percentages of part-time students who worked less than 20 hours per week or 20 to 34 hours per week in 2000 were not measurably different from the corresponding percentages in 2013.


Figure 2. Percentage of 16- to 24-year-old college students who were employed, by attendance status of student and level and control of institution: Selected years, October 2000 through 2013

Figure 2. Percentage of 16- to 24-year-old college students who were employed, by attendance status of student and level and control of institution: Selected years, October 2000 through 2013


NOTE: College students include undergraduate and graduate students. Students were classified as full time if they were taking at least 12 hours of classes (or at least 9 hours of graduate classes) during an average school week and as part time if they were taking fewer hours. Percentage employed includes those who were employed but not at work during the survey week.
SOURCE: U.S. Department of Commerce, Census Bureau, Current Population Survey (CPS), October, selected years, 2000 through 2013. See Digest of Education Statistics 2014, table 503.20.


Between 2000 and 2013, the percentage of full-time students who were employed decreased at 4-year public institutions (from 51 to 40 percent), 4-year private institutions (from 46 to 34 percent), and 2-year public institutions (from 64 to 42 percent). Among part-time students, the percentage employed decreased for those at 4-year public institutions (from 87 to 79 percent) and for those at 2-year public institutions (from 86 to 71 percent). The percentage of part-time students at 4-year private institutions who were employed in 2000 was not measurably different from the percentage in 2013.

Among full-time students in 2013, the percentage employed was higher for those at 4-year public institutions (40 percent) than for those at 4-year private institutions (34 percent). Among part-time students, the percentage employed was higher for those at 4-year institutions (80 percent) than for those at 2-year institutions (71 percent). No other measurable differences by institutional characteristics were found for either full-time or part-time students.


Figure 3. Percentage of 16- to 24-year-old college students who were employed, by attendance status of student, level and control of institution, and hours worked per week: October 2013

Figure 3. Percentage of 16- to 24-year-old college students who were employed, by attendance status of student, level and control of institution, and hours worked per week: October 2013


! Interpret data with caution. The coefficient of variation (CV) for this estimate is between 30 and 50 percent.
NOTE: College students include undergraduate and graduate students. Students were classified as full time if they were taking at least 12 hours of classes (or at least 9 hours of graduate classes) during an average school week and as part time if they were taking fewer hours. Hours worked per week refers to the number of hours worked at all jobs during the survey week. Percentage employed by hours worked per week excludes those who were employed but not at work during the survey week; therefore, detail may not sum to total percentage employed. Reporting standards for part-time students at 2-year private institutions were not met; therefore, data for this group are not shown.
SOURCE: U.S. Department of Commerce, Census Bureau, Current Population Survey (CPS), October 2013. See Digest of Education Statistics 2014, table 503.30.


In 2013, no measurable differences by institutional characteristics, including level and control of institution, were found for full-time students working less than 20 hours per week or 35 or more hours per week, or for part-time students working less than 20 hours per week or 20 to 34 hours per week. However, the percentage of full-time students working 20 to 34 hours per week was higher for those at 4-year public institutions (19 percent) than for those at 4-year private institutions (13 percent). In addition, the percentage of part-time students working 35 or more hours per week was higher for those at 4-year institutions (40 percent) than for those at 2-year institutions (31 percent), and it was higher for those at 4-year public institutions (41 percent) than for those at 2-year public institutions (31 percent).


Figure 4. Percentage of 16- to 24-year-old college students who were employed, by attendance status, sex, and race/ethnicity: October 2013

Figure 4. Percentage of 16- to 24-year-old college students who were employed, by attendance status, sex, and race/ethnicity: October 2013


NOTE: College students include undergraduate and graduate students. Students were classified as full time if they were taking at least 12 hours of classes (or at least 9 hours of graduate classes) during an average school week and as part time if they were taking fewer hours. Among full-time students, reporting standards for Pacific Islanders and American Indians/Alaska Natives were not met; among part-time students, reporting standards for Pacific Islanders, American Indians/Alaska Natives, and students of Two or more races were not met. Therefore, data for these groups are not shown. Race categories exclude persons of Hispanic ethnicity.
SOURCE: U.S. Department of Commerce, Census Bureau, Current Population Survey (CPS), October 2013. See Digest of Education Statistics 2014, table 503.30.


In 2013, the percentage of college students who were employed was higher for females than for males among both full-time (43 vs. 36 percent) and part-time (79 vs. 71 percent) students. Among full-time students, the percentage employed was higher for Whites (43 percent) than for Blacks (35 percent) and Asians (25 percent), and the percentage was higher for Blacks, Hispanics (39 percent), and students of Two or more races (41 percent) than for Asians. The percentage of part-time students who were employed did not differ measurably by race/ethnicity.