Labor Department Takes Educational Snapshot of Hispanics at Age 24

The Bureau of Labor Statistics recently released a report showing that by age 24, Latinos in the United States significantly lag in educational attainment levels and the overwhelming majority have not earned a bachelor’s degree.

The U.S. Department of Labor study is based on data collected as part of the National Longitudinal Survey of Youth 1997. About 9,000 young people were interviewed 13 times beginning when they were ages 12 to 17 and ending at the age of 24 to 30. The last interview was conducted in 2009-10. Subjects were asked for information on schooling, work, income and other topics.

I’m highlighting the findings pertaining to Hispanic young adults, but you can review more comprehensive information online, including lots of informative charts. Here are some points that stood out to me:

— Latinos lagged both white and black young adults in college completion. Non-Hispanic whites were almost three times as likely as Latinos to have received a bachelor’s degree by age 24. About 28 percent of whites, 11 percent of blacks and 10 percent of Latinos had earned a bachelor’s degree by 24.

—  Blacks and Hispanics were about twice as likely as whites to be high school dropouts by age 24. About 16 percent of Latinos were high school dropouts, compared with eight percent of non-Hispanic whites.

—  Young people with the lowest educational attainment were more prone to long periods of unemployment. Between the ages of 18 and 24, Latino high school dropouts were employed about 61 percent of weeks, Latino high school graduates about 75 percent of weeks and Latinos with a bachelor’s degree about 72 percent of weeks.

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