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Author: Wan, Mohamed
Resulting in 1 citation.
1. Wan, Mohamed
Wan, Azlinda
Participation in Vocational Education and Underemployment Among United States High School Graduates
Ph.D. Dissertation, The Pennsylvania State University, 1998
Cohort(s): NLSY79
Publisher: UMI - University Microfilms, Bell and Howell Information and Learning
Keyword(s): Education Indicators; Gender Differences; Racial Differences; Underemployment; Unemployment; Vocational Education

The controversy regarding unemployment measures in the mid-1970s has caused the measurement of underemployment to be the only labor statistic measurement mandated by the Congress (Pub. L. No. 93--;203, ' 302(b), (c), 87 Stat. 876, 1973). Since then, several indexes--the Wirtz Index, Miller Index, Levitan-Taggart Index, and Hauser's Labor Utilization Framework Index --have been proposed by researchers to better capture the true employment picture. The purpose of this study is to measure the index of underemployment among high school graduates, and to examine the relationship between underemployment and three variables: participation in vocational education, race, and gender. Underemployment in this study includes the jobless, involuntary part-time workers, and the "working poor" Using data from the National Longitudinal Survey of Youth 1979 Cohort (NLSY79), underemployment risks are measured for 1980 high school graduates from 1981-1990. Latent class analysis is used to examine the data because it assumes that underemployment is indirect and therefore cannot be measured directly. However, the availability of some observed variables means a latent variable of underemployment risks could be produced. The observed variables used in this study are gender, race, type of high school program, labor utilization framework, hours worked, and income status. The findings show that the index of underemployment can be measured using latent class analysis. Three classes are created: high-risk underemployment, medium-risk underemployment, and low-risk underemployment. The results show that the risk of underemployment varies from year to year; however, as the year progresses, high-risk underemployment is the lowest compared to the other two types of underemployment risk. This implies that high-risk underemployment decreases as students age and gain more experience in the labor market. The findings also show that non-whites have a greater risk of being underemployed compared to whites. In addition, females tend to be more underemployed than males. Lastly, participants enrolled in general education have a greater risk of being underemployed than participants enrolled in college preparatory or vocational education programs. Index of underemployment can be a tool for evaluating the effect of policy, evaluating the efficiency of education and training programs, and funding allocations.
Bibliography Citation
Wan, Mohamed and Azlinda Wan. Participation in Vocational Education and Underemployment Among United States High School Graduates. Ph.D. Dissertation, The Pennsylvania State University, 1998.