Labor Department Releases March Veterans Employment Report

Posted by Jason Van Steenwyk

Veterans Unemployment ReportThe Bureau of Labor Statistics announced that the overall unemployment rate among veterans is declining. This is according to the March 20th release of the Veterans Employment Survey. The survey is backward-looking, ending with 2012.  

Some highlights:

  • The unemployment rate among male veterans fell by 1.4 percent to 6.9 percent 2012. The rate for women held roughly steady at 8.2 percent. 
  • Veterans with service-connected disabilities had an overall unemployment rate of 6.5 percent. However, veterans who are living off of disability, or who have given up looking for work, are not included in those numbers.
  • Veterans with service-connected disabilities are much more likely to work for the government than other veterans.
  • 19 percent of veterans are employed by government, rather than the private sector. This compares with 14 percent of non-veterans.
  • The unemployment rate among Gulf War-era II veterans is higher than the national average, at 9.5 percent fro men and 12.5 percent for women.
  • The unemployment for male veterans ages 18 to 24 is 20 percent. That’s much higher than the rate for their non-veteran peers.


Other studies have looked at the employment experiences of returning GWOT-era veterans. One study found that as many as 18 percent of returning veterans have trouble maintaining steady employment (Tanielian and Jaycox, 2008), and some 20 percent or more have symptoms of psychiatric symptoms. 


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