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Press Release

High school student employment lowest since 1990

Annual report The Condition of Education shows how high school students and classrooms have changed

Only 16 percent of high school students were employed in 2010, compared to 32 percent in 1990, according to The Condition of Education 2012, a report released today by the National Center for Education Statistics (NCES). The report looks at how high school students and classrooms have changed over a 20 year period, and finds far fewer high school students are working (1 in 6 today, compared to 1 in 3 in 1990), while there has been virtually no change in the level of extracurricular activities.

The Condition of Education provides an annual portrait of education in the United States. There are 49 indicators in this year's report covering all aspects of education, including early childhood through postsecondary education, student achievement and outcomes, and school environments and resources.

This year's report features a closer look at high schools in the United States and how they have been changing in recent decades.

"We have seen a lot of changes in high schools over the past 20 years," said NCES Commissioner Jack Buckley. "The classroom is more diverse, far fewer students work, and more students are taking rigorous math and science courses. Schools are safer, and the use of distance education has rapidly expanded."

The high school findings include:

This year's report documents important indicators in elementary and secondary and postsecondary education, including:

The National Center for Education Statistics is the statistical center of the Institute of Education Sciences in the U.S. Department of Education. The full text of The Condition of Education 2012 (in HTML format), along with related data tables and indicators from previous years, can be viewed at