For the past seven years, the Bureau of Labor Statistics has reported on the differential work-force status of recent high school graduates and dropouts. Their definition of graduate and dropout populations and a failure to distinguish inter-cohort differences from intra-cohort changes may have led to an erroneous assessment of progress in the work force subsequent to entry. Emphasis on the value of a high-school diploma at the time of work-force entry rather than on the value of an incremental school year appears misplaced. Current data-collection programs are not generating the statistics needed to answer the policy questions to which these reports are addressed.


Durante los últimos siete años, la oficina de Estadisticas del Trabajo ha informado sobre el estatus diferencial en la fuerza de trabajo de los recién graduados de la escuela secundaria y aquellos que abandonaron sus estudios. Sus definiciones de poblaciones de graduados y de los que no completaron sus estudios y el no distinguir las diferencias entre cohortes de los cambios dentro de una misma cohorte, pueden conducir a una errónea apreciación del progreso en la fuerza de trabajo subsecuente al ingreso. El énfasis sobre el valor de un diploma de la escuela secundaria, al momento de incorporarse a la fuerza de trabajo, es mayor que el que se pone en el incremento en los años de escolaridad; Los actuates programas de recolecciôn de datos no estan produciendo las estadisticas necesarias para responder a las preguntas sobre politica a las que estos informes estan dirigidos.

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U.S. Department of Labor, Bureau of Labor Statistics, “Special Labor Force Reports,” No. 5, Employment of June 1959 High School Graduates, October 1959, by Sophia Cooper; No. 15, Employment of June 1960 High School Graduates, by Sophia Cooper; No. 21, Employment of High School Graduates and Dropouts in 1961, by Jacob Schiffman; No. 32, Employment of High School Graduates and Dropouts in 1962, by Jacob Schiffman; No. 41, Employment of High School Graduates and Dropouts in 1963, by Vera C. Perrella; No. 54, Employment of High School Graduates and Dropouts in 1964, by Forrest A. Bogan; No. 66, I. Employment of High School Graduates and Dropouts in 1965, by Harvey R. Hamel. The reports in the series are referred to hereafter by number.
The 1963 survey results appeared in “Special Labor Force Reports,” No. 46, Out-of-School Youth, February 1963, by Vera C. Perrella and Forrest A. Bogan; the 1965 resurvey results appeared in No. 71, Out-of-School Youth. Two Years Later, by Vera C. Perrella and Elizabeth Waldman. These reports are referred to hereafter by number. The percentage in the Armed Forces is estimated by comparing the original sample size (No. 46, p. 1267) with the 1965 civilian noninstitutional total (No. 71, p. 860). The proportions returning to school are taken from No. 71, p. 861.
Selected data have appeared in U.S. Bureau of the Census, “Lifetime Occupational Mobility of Adult Males: March 1962,” Current Population Reports (Series P-23, No. 11), and “Educational Change in a Generation: March 1962,” Current Population Reports (Series P-20, No. 132). Professors Peter M. Blau of the University of Chicago and Otis Dudley Duncan of The University of Michigan, principal investigators on the co-operating projects “Intergenerational Occupational Mobility in the United States” (funded by the National Science Foundation) and “Differential Fertility and Social Mobility” (supported by the Public Health Service), were responsible for the design of the “Occupational Changes in a Generation” supplement.
Ducan, Beverly (
Family Factors and School Dropout: 1920–1960
Ann Arbor
The University of Michigan