National Institute on Aging

Employment and Unemployment Rates by Race for Young College Students

New data has been released from the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics on the employment status of young Americans. The data includes statistics on race and level of educational attainment.

In October 2016, there were 1,674,000 African Americans ages 16 to 24 who were enrolled in college. Of these, 696,000, or 41.6 percent, also were employed. For Whites in this age group who were enrolled in college, 47 percent were also employed.

For 16- to 24-year-old Blacks enrolled in college, 7.6 percent were actively seeking work but couldn’t find it. The unemployment rate for White college students in this age group was 5.7 percent.

There were 238,000 Black high school graduates in 2016 who were enrolled in college by October 2016. Of these, 89,000, or 37.4 percent also were employed. For similar Whites, the employment rate was almost identical. But the unemployment rate – those actively seeking work but unable to find it – was 18.4 percent for newly enrolled African American college students. For similar Whites, the unemployment rate was far lower at 6.9 percent.

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