A recent study said that the employment reality for recent high school graduates is “bleak” as only one in three graduates is employed full time.
The study cited in a recent New York Times article on bland graduation results came from Rutgers’s John J. Heldrich Center for Workforce Development entitled “Left Out. Forgotten? Recent High School Graduates and the Great Recession.”
The report took a national sample of 544 recent high school graduates from 2006 to 2011, to try and understand how high school graduates are “faring in the workforce.”
By the numbers, the employment status of the sample group looks like this, according to the survey:
- Three in 10 high school graduates are employed full time (college graduates are employed at nearly twice that rate)
- Of the graduates from 2006, 2007 and 2008, 37 percent are employed full time, compared to 16 percent that graduated during the recession.
Graduations for Woodbridge-area students started this past Friday. Locally, in the 2010-11 school year, Prince William County had an on-time graduation rate of 88 percent. Statewide, the Virginia Department of Education said in October 2011 that on-time high school graduation rate rose one point this year to 86.6 percent, and the statewide dropout rate fell one point to 7.2 percent.
The survey further characterizes high school graduates’ first jobs as “low-paying, temporary jobs.” But in an unstable economy, many graduates may be looking to other opportunities.
Congressman Gerry Connolly (D-11) recently hosted a military academy night in Prince William County for students to learn more about the five services academies in the United States.
According to a press release from Connolly’s office, over 200 students and parents attended the informational session.
“The common themes throughout the presentations were incredibly high admissions standards and unlimited opportunities upon graduation,” a statement from Connolly’s office read. “The Academy Liaison Officer from the United States Military Academy noted that only 10 percent of applicants are admitted to West Point, but that graduates go onto careers as engineers, doctors and lawyers.”