Skip Navigation
Digest of Education Statistics
2017 Tables and Figures All Years of Tables and Figures Most Recent Full Issue of the Digest


Table 501.80. Unemployment rates of persons 16 to 64 years old, by age group and highest level of educational attainment: Selected years, 1975 through 2017
[Standard errors appear in parentheses]
Age group and highest level of educational attainment 1975 1980 1985 1990 1995 2000 2002 2004 2006 2010 2012 2014 2015 2016 2017
1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16
16 to 19 years old, all education
      levels1 
  (†)   (†)   (†) 17.0   (1.83) 21.0   (2.06) 17.2   (1.89) 22.3   (1.50) 20.9   (1.63) 20.6   (1.18) 31.9   (1.59) 30.6   (1.57) 22.9   (1.83) 22.5   (1.35) 20.2   (1.37) 14.8   (1.39)
Less than high school completion   (†)   (†)   (†) 26.2   (3.54) 30.3   (3.67) 21.4   (3.23) 28.2   (2.58) 27.5   (2.90) 25.8   (2.24) 41.7   (3.14) 41.1   (3.01) 22.9   (3.38) 25.6   (2.67) 21.6   (2.39) 21.7   (2.91)
High school completion2   (†)   (†)   (†) 11.7   (2.05) 15.1   (2.59) 15.3   (2.54) 18.7   (1.98) 17.6   (2.13) 17.6   (1.43) 29.6   (2.08) 28.7   (2.00) 25.0   (2.32) 23.3   (1.90) 22.0   (2.02) 12.6   (1.44)
At least some college   (†)   (†)   (†)   (†) 12.4 ! (5.19)   (†) 17.3   (4.29) 12.6 ! (4.13) 17.7   (3.54) 18.1   (3.65) 19.6   (3.83) 15.1   (4.16) 13.2   (2.96) 11.8   (2.75) 9.2   (2.59)
                                                                                           
20 to 24 years old, all education
      levels1 
  (†)   (†)   (†) 8.2   (0.63) 10.7   (0.72) 9.2   (0.70) 12.5   (0.57) 11.6   (0.55) 9.3   (0.46) 18.8   (0.66) 15.5   (0.55) 14.9   (0.70) 12.3   (0.53) 10.5   (0.53) 8.1   (0.43)
Less than high school completion   (†)   (†)   (†) 17.4   (2.15) 19.5   (2.37) 16.6   (2.18) 21.2   (1.64) 16.0   (1.50) 15.7   (1.34) 32.3   (1.80) 27.6   (2.12) 25.3   (2.75) 19.9   (1.99) 17.3   (2.05) 16.0   (2.10)
High school completion2   (†)   (†)   (†) 7.8   (0.88) 12.0   (1.18) 10.0   (1.12) 12.9   (0.89) 13.4   (0.91) 10.4   (0.70) 22.3   (0.95) 18.3   (0.96) 18.9   (1.18) 15.8   (0.92) 12.2   (0.92) 9.7   (0.80)
Some college, no bachelor's
       degree3
  (†)   (†)   (†) 4.8   (1.09) 7.3   (1.13) 5.2   (1.02) 10.1   (1.03) 8.6   (0.95) 7.1   (0.68) 14.2   (1.07) 12.7   (0.89) 12.2   (1.16) 9.6   (0.89) 9.9   (0.87) 6.4   (0.75)
Bachelor's or higher degree   (†)   (†)   (†) 3.1 ! (1.12) 4.1 ! (1.26) 5.0   (1.43) 4.5   (0.95) 6.7   (1.09) 3.9   (0.72) 7.9   (1.15) 6.0   (0.95) 6.7   (1.09) 5.1   (0.72) 4.9   (0.81) 4.7   (0.76)
                                                                                           
25 to 64 years old, all education
      levels
6.8   (0.21) 5.0   (0.17) 6.1   (0.18) 3.6   (0.14) 4.8   (0.15) 3.3   (0.13) 5.0   (0.11) 5.1   (0.11) 4.1   (0.09) 9.1   (0.13) 7.4   (0.11) 5.8   (0.14) 4.7   (0.10) 4.4   (0.09) 3.9   (0.09)
Less than high school completion 10.5   (0.49) 8.4   (0.48) 11.4   (0.61) 7.7   (0.55) 10.0   (0.66) 7.9   (0.63) 10.2   (0.49) 10.5   (0.50) 8.3   (0.41) 16.8   (0.54) 14.3   (0.49) 10.6   (0.63) 9.2   (0.44) 8.1   (0.42) 8.3   (0.47)
High school completion2 6.8   (0.34) 5.1   (0.27) 6.9   (0.31) 3.8   (0.23) 5.2   (0.28) 3.8   (0.25) 6.1   (0.22) 5.9   (0.22) 4.7   (0.16) 12.1   (0.26) 9.2   (0.25) 7.4   (0.29) 6.2   (0.21) 6.1   (0.24) 5.2   (0.18)
Some college, no bachelor's
       degree3
5.5   (0.50) 4.3   (0.38) 4.7   (0.37) 3.1   (0.29) 4.5   (0.29) 3.0   (0.24) 4.5   (0.20) 4.9   (0.21) 3.9   (0.17) 8.8   (0.23) 7.9   (0.24) 6.1   (0.27) 4.9   (0.16) 4.5   (0.17) 3.8   (0.16)
Bachelor's or higher degree 2.4   (0.30) 1.9   (0.23) 2.4   (0.24) 1.7   (0.19) 2.5   (0.21) 1.5   (0.16) 2.8   (0.15) 2.9   (0.15) 2.3   (0.11) 4.7   (0.15) 4.1   (0.14) 3.4   (0.16) 2.4   (0.11) 2.4   (0.12) 2.3   (0.11)
                                                                                           
25 to 34 years old, all education
       levels
8.6   (0.41) 6.8   (0.32) 7.3   (0.33) 4.8   (0.27) 5.8   (0.30) 4.0   (0.27) 6.4   (0.24) 6.4   (0.24) 5.5   (0.19) 10.8   (0.28) 9.2   (0.26) 7.4   (0.30) 5.9   (0.20) 5.6   (0.22) 4.9   (0.20)
Less than high school completion 17.2   (1.36) 13.7   (1.24) 15.5   (1.38) 12.0   (1.21) 12.9   (1.32) 10.3   (1.33) 13.0   (0.98) 12.4   (0.97) 11.0   (0.84) 20.3   (1.02) 16.8   (1.09) 13.7   (1.24) 12.5   (1.01) 13.1   (0.97) 13.2   (1.16)
High school completion2 9.4   (0.67) 7.9   (0.55) 9.1   (0.57) 5.1   (0.44) 6.8   (0.56) 4.8   (0.54) 9.1   (0.53) 7.9   (0.50) 6.5   (0.40) 15.9   (0.62) 12.8   (0.57) 10.5   (0.68) 8.9   (0.50) 8.6   (0.52) 7.2   (0.44)
Some college, no bachelor's
      degree3
6.7   (0.85) 6.0   (0.64) 5.4   (0.60) 3.8   (0.51) 5.0   (0.52) 3.6   (0.49) 4.9   (0.40) 6.4   (0.45) 5.3   (0.35) 10.6   (0.44) 10.1   (0.51) 7.8   (0.52) 6.5   (0.39) 5.6   (0.41) 4.4   (0.34)
Bachelor's or higher degree 2.9   (0.50) 2.5   (0.39) 2.8   (0.41) 1.9   (0.34) 2.7   (0.40) 1.6   (0.31) 3.1   (0.30) 2.9   (0.29) 2.8   (0.25) 4.5   (0.28) 4.1   (0.28) 3.7   (0.30) 2.4   (0.20) 2.4   (0.23) 2.5   (0.22)
                                                                                           
35 to 44 years old, all education
       levels
6.4   (0.41) 4.3   (0.31) 5.6   (0.33) 3.3   (0.24) 4.6   (0.27) 3.5   (0.23) 5.0   (0.20) 5.3   (0.21) 4.1   (0.17) 9.2   (0.24) 7.1   (0.22) 5.7   (0.24) 4.4   (0.17) 4.1   (0.18) 4.0   (0.16)
Less than high school completion 11.2   (1.02) 9.0   (1.00) 12.4   (1.29) 8.3   (1.17) 10.5   (1.28) 8.4   (1.14) 10.1   (0.87) 11.1   (0.90) 8.6   (0.70) 17.8   (1.07) 14.1   (0.88) 11.5   (1.08) 8.4   (0.74) 6.2   (0.66) 6.9   (0.61)
High school completion2 5.7   (0.60) 4.2   (0.48) 6.1   (0.55) 3.7   (0.41) 5.1   (0.48) 3.9   (0.43) 6.0   (0.38) 6.1   (0.40) 5.1   (0.31) 11.9   (0.51) 9.1   (0.48) 7.4   (0.48) 6.3   (0.41) 6.6   (0.44) 5.7   (0.41)
Some college, no bachelor's
      degree3
4.6   (0.95) 3.1   (0.64) 4.8   (0.69) 2.8   (0.47) 4.7   (0.49) 3.1   (0.41) 4.7   (0.36) 4.9   (0.38) 3.7   (0.32) 9.2   (0.42) 7.4   (0.44) 6.1   (0.49) 4.5   (0.31) 4.5   (0.35) 4.4   (0.35)
Bachelor's or higher degree 2.3   (0.59) 1.6   (0.41) 2.2   (0.39) 1.6   (0.31) 2.2   (0.34) 1.8   (0.31) 2.6   (0.26) 2.8   (0.27) 2.0   (0.19) 4.6   (0.26) 3.6   (0.26) 2.8   (0.30) 2.1   (0.20) 2.0   (0.16) 2.3   (0.21)
                                                                                           
45 to 54 years old, all education
       levels
5.9   (0.39) 3.9   (0.32) 5.4   (0.39) 2.5   (0.26) 3.9   (0.29) 2.4   (0.22) 4.2   (0.20) 4.3   (0.20) 3.4   (0.15) 8.4   (0.22) 6.8   (0.18) 4.9   (0.24) 4.1   (0.15) 3.7   (0.17) 3.3   (0.17)
Less than high school completion 8.5   (0.81) 6.6   (0.78) 10.2   (1.16) 4.7   (0.89) 7.9   (1.24) 6.1   (1.16) 8.8   (0.95) 9.1   (0.99) 5.9   (0.73) 15.6   (0.98) 13.5   (0.92) 8.0   (0.95) 8.6   (0.80) 6.6   (0.65) 6.9   (0.79)
High school completion2 5.6   (0.60) 3.4   (0.48) 5.4   (0.60) 2.3   (0.39) 4.0   (0.53) 2.7   (0.42) 4.6   (0.37) 4.9   (0.37) 3.9   (0.30) 11.0   (0.43) 7.8   (0.36) 6.1   (0.50) 5.2   (0.34) 5.0   (0.39) 4.3   (0.32)
Some college, no bachelor's
      degree3
4.7   (1.00) 3.0   (0.78) 3.2   (0.79) 2.6   (0.62) 3.9   (0.56) 2.4   (0.40) 4.2   (0.37) 4.0   (0.35) 3.4   (0.26) 7.6   (0.40) 6.9   (0.36) 4.8   (0.44) 4.1   (0.30) 3.4   (0.33) 2.9   (0.28)
Bachelor's or higher degree 2.0 ! (0.61) 1.3 ! (0.44) 2.1   (0.54) 1.4   (0.38) 2.4   (0.41) 1.3   (0.28) 2.8   (0.28) 3.0   (0.28) 2.3   (0.20) 4.8   (0.30) 3.9   (0.27) 3.2   (0.29) 2.2   (0.18) 2.3   (0.24) 2.1   (0.21)
                                                                                           
55 to 64 years old, all education
       levels
5.5   (0.46) 3.2   (0.35) 4.6   (0.44) 2.8   (0.36) 3.9   (0.42) 2.8   (0.35) 3.9   (0.27) 4.0   (0.26) 2.9   (0.18) 7.3   (0.25) 6.6   (0.23) 5.2   (0.28) 4.2   (0.20) 3.9   (0.18) 3.2   (0.16)
Less than high school completion 7.1   (0.79) 5.2   (0.77) 7.1   (1.01) 3.9   (0.90) 6.7   (1.35) 5.2   (1.28) 6.9   (1.04) 7.0   (1.10) 6.0   (0.82) 10.1   (0.99) 11.5   (1.05) 8.2   (1.21) 6.9   (0.84) 6.5   (0.80) 6.0   (0.75)
High school completion2 5.1   (0.76) 2.7   (0.51) 4.5   (0.69) 3.0   (0.59) 3.4   (0.65) 3.1   (0.62) 4.1   (0.49) 4.4   (0.49) 2.9   (0.35) 9.3   (0.56) 7.1   (0.50) 5.6   (0.53) 4.4   (0.38) 4.1   (0.41) 3.6   (0.33)
Some college, no bachelor's
      degree3
4.1 ! (1.26) 2.0 ! (0.77) 3.0 ! (1.00) 2.2 ! (0.82) 3.2   (0.80) 2.8   (0.70) 3.9   (0.54) 3.6   (0.48) 3.1   (0.34) 7.7   (0.52) 7.1   (0.44) 5.5   (0.54) 4.3   (0.40) 4.1   (0.37) 3.2   (0.32)
Bachelor's or higher degree 1.5 ! (0.75)   (†) 2.2 ! (0.70) 1.8 ! (0.62) 3.3   (0.79) 1.4 ! (0.46) 2.7   (0.41) 3.0   (0.39) 2.0   (0.22) 5.0   (0.34) 4.8   (0.38) 4.0   (0.39) 3.3   (0.30) 3.2   (0.29) 2.4   (0.24)
—Not available.
†Not applicable.
!Interpret data with caution. The coefficient of variation (CV) for this estimate is between 30 and 50 percent.
‡Reporting standards not met. The coefficient of variation (CV) for this estimate is 50 percent or greater.
1 Data for 16- to 19-year-olds and 20- to 24-year-olds exclude persons enrolled in school.
2 Includes equivalency credentials, such as the GED credential.
3 Includes persons with no college degree as well as those with an associate's degree.
NOTE: Data are based on sample surveys of the noninstitutionalized population, which excludes persons living in institutions (e.g., prisons or nursing facilities); this table includes only data on the civilian population (excludes all military personnel). The unemployment rate is the percentage of persons in the civilian labor force who are not working and who made specific efforts to find employment sometime during the prior 4 weeks. The civilian labor force consists of all civilians who are employed or seeking employment.
SOURCE: U.S. Department of Commerce, Census Bureau, Current Population Survey (CPS), Annual Social and Economic Supplement, selected years, 1975 through 2017. (This table was prepared October 2017.)

2017 Tables and Figures All Years of Tables and Figures Most Recent Full Issue of the Digest