High school dropouts show difficulty finding or keeping jobs

June 03, 2016 02:21 PM

WASHINGTON (AP) — Unemployment rates for most demographic groups fell in May. But that's not necessarily good news.

The latest U.S. jobs report revealed stark educational disparities.

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The jobless rate for those without high school diplomas fell 4 percentage points from April, mainly because so many stopped looking for a job and were no longer counted as unemployed. This group's labor force participation — the proportion who are either working or actively looking for work — fell to 44.5 percent from 46.1 percent in April.

Employment among high school and college graduates, on the other hand, held steady or improved. The unemployment rate for workers with at least a bachelor's degree was 2.4 percent, and their participation rate was 74.3 percent. Both were unchanged from April.

Overall, U.S. employers added a paltry 38,000 jobs last month. The overall unemployment rate dropped to 4.7 percent, driven by nearly a half-million jobless Americans who gave up on their searches.

The data for various demographic groups came from a survey of households that is part of the Labor Department's monthly jobs report.

Unemployment rate by group:
(Numbers in percentages)May 2016April 2016May 2015
Hispanic or Latino ethnicity**
Adult men4.34.65.0
Adult women4.24.55.0
20-24 years old8.38.810.1
25-54 years old4.04.25.0
55 and over3.63.83.9
Veterans of Iraq/Afghanistan*
No high school diploma7.17.58.5
High school graduate5.15.45.7
Some college3.94.14.4
College graduate2.42.42.7
Duration of Unemployment:
Average length (weeks)26.727.730.5
Jobless 6 months or more (pct.)25.125.728.7
* Not seasonally adjusted
**Includes all races
Source: Labor Department


By The Associated Press

(Copyright 2016 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)

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