We compared the employment of African American and white youth as they transitioned to adulthood from age 18 to 22, focusing on high school graduates and high school dropouts who did not attend college. Using data from the National Longitudinal Survey of Youth, 1997, we found significant differences in labor market participation by race and education. Among key findings, African American high school graduates worked as much and sometimes less than white high school dropouts. Findings suggest however, that the improved labor market participation associated with a high school diploma is higher over time for African Americans than for white youth.
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