Unemployment rate for recent veterans edged down to 9% in 2013

The unemployment rate for U.S. veterans who served from September 2011 and later declined to 9% in 2013, the Bureau of Labor Statistics said Thursday. That’s down from 9.9% in 2012. Above, job seekers at a job fair for veterans in San Diego last month.
(Sam Hodgson / Bloomberg)

The unemployment rate for veterans who have served since September 2011, referred to as Gulf War-era II veterans, declined to 9% in 2013, the Bureau of Labor Statistics reported Thursday.

That’s down from 9.9% in 2012, according to data from the Current Population Survey. For all veterans, the jobless rate in 2013 was 6.6%, down from 7% the year before.

Veterans returning from serving have suffered from high unemployment in recent years, at times above the jobless rate of civilians. But more direct efforts by private employers, in partnership with the White House, to hire veterans have spurred opportunities for former military members to enter the labor force. 

Starbucks Corp., Blackstone Group and Wal-Mart Stores Inc. are among private-sector employers who have announced initiatives to hire more veterans in upcoming years.


The latest Bureau of Labor Statistics data offered more details about jobless trends facing the country’s veterans. Here are some highlights:

--In 2013, there were 2.8 million Gulf War-era II veterans, and more than half were ages 25 to 34.

--Women had a higher unemployment rate than men: 9.6% compared with 8.8% for men.

--For comparison purposes, the annual civilian unemployment rate in 2013 was 6.8%.


--One-third of Gulf War-era II male veterans worked in management and professional occupations, the data show. Among women, that proportion was more than 40%.

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