Employment Status of Adults Ages 45 to 54, by Educational Attainment
The majority of adults ages 45 to 54 who were employed had full-time employment, although adults with higher levels of educational attainment were more likely to be employed full time. The unemployment rate of those who had completed only high school was twice that of those whose highest degree was a bachelor’s degree (6.7 percent and 3.5 percent, respectively). Nearly one-quarter of these adults whose highest level of education was high school were not in the labor force (23.8 percent), compared with 12.3 percent of those whose highest degree was a bachelor’s degree.
U.S. Census Bureau, American Community Survey, 2016 5-Year Estimates (2012–16)
These data include all individuals, including those in the military, incarcerated, or enrolled in school. Those in the military are counted as employed. Those incarcerated are counted as not in the work force. Those enrolled in school are counted the same way as individuals who are not enrolled.
Employed includes individuals employed either full or part time. Individuals working at least 35 hours per week are categorized as having full-time employment.
The unemployment rate is the share of people in the labor force who are not employed. People without jobs who are not actively seeking employment—who are not in the labor force—do not affect this measure.
Individuals not in the labor force include a host of categories, including students, retired workers, and stay-at-home parents.