Recent data from the US Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) suggest that students who drop out of high school are more likely than high school graduates to be unemployed or to not participate in the labor force. Among those who had earned a bachelor's degree, 3% were unemployed during the October when they were age 23. The relationship between education and labor force participation is even more pronounced. Thirty-two percent of high school dropouts were not in the labor force -- that is, neither working nor looking for work -- during the October when they were age 23. These data come from the BLS National Longitudinal Survey of Youth 1997, which has surveyed the same group of respondents annually since 1997.
Finishing high school leads to bette
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