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2013 Vets Jobs Data Shows Mixed Picture

Posted by LMI Win-Win Network - On May 07, 2014 (EST)

2013 Veterans Jobs Data Shows Mixed Picture

The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) recently issued its 2013 annual average data on the employment of veterans. The results were mixed for the nation’s nearly 11 million veterans. Unemployment rates dropped for veterans between 2012 and 2013 (from 7.0 to 6.6 percent), although by less than the corresponding decline for non-veterans (from 7.9 to 7.2 percent). Falling unemployment rates often coincide with a rising employment-to-population ratio, but the share of veterans employed fell from 48.3 to 47.9 percent between 2012 and 2013. In contrast, the employment-to-population ratio for non-veterans remained constant between the two years.

The most recent cohort of veterans (those who served since September 2001) fared relatively better, with unemployment rates dropping by nearly a full percentage point since 2012 (from 9.9 to 9.0 percent), and the employment-to-population ratio rising from 72.7 to 73.3 percent. [Table A of the BLS news release]

An examination of 2013 unemployment rates for all veterans vs. non-veterans by gender, race and ethnicity shows a mixed pattern, with veterans faring better than non-veterans among men (6.5 vs. 7.5 percent), African Americans (8.2 vs. 13.0 percent), and Hispanics (7.5 vs. 8.8 percent). However, the veteran/non-veteran differential was negligible (less than .1 percentage point) among women and Whites. [Table 1] Comparisons by age group showed that young veterans (under 35) experience greater unemployment than non-veterans; that the unemployment experience is about the same for 35-54 year-olds; and that veterans older than 54 experience more unemployment than their non-veteran counterparts. Thus, only middle-age veterans fare as well as non-veterans in their jobless rates. [Table 2A]

Several major factors complicate the interpretation of veterans’ employment data. Because the extent of military service is so uneven across time, the age distribution of veterans and non-veterans distinctly differs. In addition, by definition young veterans have more in common with the experience of a dislocated worker than the typical situation of a non-veteran. Although it has lessened over time, the distribution by gender of veterans vs. non-veterans also differs greatly. These and other factors must be weighed in making judgments about the meaningfulness of employment and unemployment differences between veterans and non-veterans.

Veterans with more educational attainment fare better than those with less education, as is true for the entire population.  Recent veterans (those who served since September 2001) who are older than 25 tend to be relatively well educated: only 1.4 percent had less than a high school diploma, and 25.2 percent had a high school diploma only. Nearly three quarters had at least some college, with 31.3 percent holding a Bachelor’s or higher degree (42.1 percent had an Associate’s degree or some college but no degree).

Veterans in New Jersey (10.8) and Michigan (10.6) experienced unemployment rates higher than 10 percent in 2013, with both rates at least 2 percentage points higher than their state's non-veterans.  Four states -- Delaware, Iowa, North Dakota, and Vermont -- had veterans' unemployment rates below 3.5 percent; all of these states except Delaware (7.0 percent) also had very low unemployment rates for non-veterans.

See the BLS Veterans Site for current and historical veterans data, and the Employment Situation of Veterans — 2013 for the data presented here, along with a wealth of additional veterans data, including industry, occupational, self-employment, disability, and other statistics. Table 6 includes state-specific veterans and non-veterans data.

For a table and chart showing historical unemployment trends for veterans and non-veterans, see Unemployment for Veterans, Persons with Disabilities, and the Foreign-Born.

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Modified On : May 08, 2014
Type : Thread
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In Relation : Special Populations Data (disability, vets, farmworkers, etc.)

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