The National Center for Educational Statistics, a division of the U.S. Department of Education, issued a statistical profile last month of a representative sample of 13,133 former U.S. high school students it surveyed from July 2012 to February 2013 as a follow-up to a survey it first gave them in 2002–when they were enrolled as sophomores in the class scheduled to graduate in 2004.
The “report provides a descriptive portrait of these 2002 tenth-graders a decade later, when most were about 26 years old and had been out of high school for 8 years,” it said.
“13 percent reported they were neither working for pay nor taking postsecondary courses,” said the report’s findings.
“23 percent were living with their parents,” it said.
Table 5 in the report gave a detailed breakout of the former high school students’ employment situation: 11.0% were unemployed; 13.0 were working between 0 and 34 hours a week; 6.9 percent were out of the labor force; and 69.1 percent were working at least 35 hours a week.
Some of those who were out of the labor force were still students. For example, five percent of those who had already earned a bachelor degree were still enrolled in school but not working; while another 15 percent of the college graduates were still enrolled in school and were also working.
Among those who had gone to post-secondary school but not yet earned a bachelor’s degree, 7 percent were still enrolled and not working. Another 27 percent in this category were both working and going to school.
Sixteen percent of those who had been high school sophomores in 2002 never enrolled in post-secondary education. Twenty-seven percent of these were not working—including 17 percent who were unemployed and 10 percent who were out of the labor force.
Table 8 in the report detailed the current living arrangements of these 13,133 young Americans who had been high school sophomores in 2002. 49.0 percent were single; 28.2 percent were married; and 22.8 percent were “partnered”—which meant they were “living with a significant other in a marriage-like relationship.”
42.3 percent were currently living with their spouse or partner, 22.6 percent were living with their parents, 18.9 percent were living alone; 10.0 percent were living with a roommate or roommates, and 6.2 percent were living in some kind of “other” arrangement.
Of the high school sophomores first surveyed in 2002, according to the report, 33 percent had earned a bachelor’s degree or higher by the time of the 2012-2013 follow-up survey; 9 had percent earned an associate degree, 10 percent had earned an undergraduate certificate, 32 percent had attended postsecondary school but had not earned a credential; 13 percent had earned a high school diploma or its equivalent, and 3 percent had never finished high school.