From a new report from the Bureau of Labor Statistics—
“The unemployment rate for high school graduates not enrolled in college was 26.7 percent, compared with 14.9 percent for graduates enrolled in college (in either 2- or 4-year institutions.)
From October 2007 to October 2008, 400,000 persons between the ages of 16 and 24 dropped out of high school. The labor force participation rate for dropouts (48.4 percent) was lower than for recent high school
graduates not enrolled in college (76.4 percent). The jobless rate for recent high school dropouts was 39.5 percent.
The unemployment rate for out-of-school youth age 16 to 24 was 14.2 percent in October 2008. Among the educational attainment categories, unemployment rates for youth not in school were highest for those with-out a high school diploma–26.3 percent for young men and 25.0 percent for young women. In contrast, the unemployment rates for young male and female college graduates were 8.7 and 6.6 percent, respectively. Black out-of-school youth had an unemployment rate of 23.7 percent in October 2008, compared with 12.4 percent for whites, 15.1 percent for Hispanics, and 7.3 percent for Asians.”