On any given day, about one in every 10 young male high school dropouts is in jail or juvenile detention, compared with one in 35 young male high school graduates, says a new study reported by the New York Times of the effects of dropping out of school in a nation where demand for low-skill workers is plunging. The picture is bleaker for African-Americans, with nearly one in four young black male dropouts incarcerated or otherwise institutionalized on an average day. That compares with about one in 14 young, male, white, Asian or Hispanic dropouts.
Researchers at Northeastern University used census and other government data to carry out the study, which tracks the employment, workplace, parenting, and criminal justice experiences of young high school dropouts. “We're trying to show what it means to be a dropout in the 21st century United States,” said Andrew Sum of Northeastern’s Center for Labor Market Studies. “It's one of the country's costliest problems. The unemployment, the incarceration rates – it's scary.”