Youth ages 16–19 who are neither in school nor working are detached from these core activities, both of which play an important role in one's transition from adolescence to adulthood. Such detachment, particularly if it lasts for several years, decreases a youth's opportunity to build a work history that contributes to future higher wages and employability.112 The percentage of youth who are not enrolled in school and not working is one measure of the proportion of young people who are at risk of limiting their future prospects.
NOTE: Data relate to the labor force and enrollment status of persons ages 16–19 in the civilian noninstitutionalized population during an "average" week of the school year. School refers to both high school and college. For data before 2003, the 1977 Office of Management and Budget (OMB) Standards for Data on Race and Ethnicity were used to classify persons into one of the following four racial groups: White, Black, American Indian or Alaskan Native, or Asian or Pacific Islander. The revised 1997 OMB standards were used for data for 2003 and later years. Persons could select one or more of five racial groups: White, Black or African American, American Indian or Alaska Native, Asian, or Native Hawaiian or Other Pacific Islander. Beginning in 2003, those in each racial category represent those reporting only one race. Data from 2003 onward are not directly comparable with data from earlier years. Data on race and Hispanic origin are collected separately. Persons of Hispanic origin may be of any race.
SOURCE: Bureau of Labor Statistics, Current Population Survey.
112 Fernandes, A., and Gabe, T. (2009). Disconnected youth: A look at 16- to 24-year-olds who are not working or in school. (CRS Report No. R40535). Retrieved from Congressional Research Service Web site: http://www.fas.org/sgp/crs/misc/R40535.pdf.
113 For more information, refer to table ED5.C at http://childstats.gov/americaschildren11/tables/ed5c.asp (available on the Web only).