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Event and Status Dropout Rates  
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High School Completion Rates  
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High School Completion Rates The relative importance of a high school education has changed dramatically over the last half century in the United States. When the grandparents of today's high school students entered adulthood, a high school education was an asset in the labor force, held by about half of the population ages 25 through 29 in 195019. By the early 1970s, when the parents of today's high school students entered the work force, about 83 to 84 percent of the population ages 18 through 24 who were not enrolled in high school had completed a high school education (figure 3 and table A13). At that time, a high school education still served as an entryway to a number of promising career paths. Now, a quarter of a century later, technological advances in the workplace have increased the demand for a skilled labor force to the point where a high school education serves more as a minimum requirement for entry into the labor force. Completing a high school education is now even more essential in order to access additional education and training for the labor force.

19 U.S. Department of Education, National Center for Education Statistics, Digest of Education Statistics 1999, NCES 2000-031, by T. Snyder and C. Hoffman (Washington, DC: U.S. Government Printing Office, 2000).
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