Sunday, May 19, 2013

News this week: national study finds Pacific Islanders college grads most likely to stay in workforce

This week Inside Higher Ed covered a report on diversity among college graduates issued by the American Council on Education. While it didn't make the headline or lead paragraph, the reporter shared this interesting data on post-graduation participation in the labor force:

Fifty-eight percent of graduates in 2007-8 were between jobs or fluctuating between participation and nonparticipation in the labor market; the racial group with the highest rate of continuous postgraduation participation in the labor force was Native Hawaiians/Pacific Islanders, with 50 percent, while the group with the lowest was Asian Americans, with 27 percent.

Why are Native Hawaiians and other Pacific Islanders so much more likely than other racial groups to maintain continuous participation in the workforce after graduating? Are these figures kept high partly by the fact that Pacific Islanders earn advanced degrees (most of which require departure from the labor force in order to stay in school) at less than half the rate of the general population, and a quarter of the rate of Asian Americans?
Would greater investment in Pacific Islander college graduation have a greater rate of return in the education = jobs equation that's often discussed in policy and business circles?

You can read the article here (link) and visit ACE's website here (link).


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