Veterans Unemployment Continues Downward Trend

The jobless rate for all veterans edged down to 4.3 percent in 2016 from 4.6 percent in 2015, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics’ recently released annual Employment Situation for Veterans. This continues a downward trend from the peak of the recession in 2011, and brings the veteran unemployment rate near pre-recession levels.

Some highlights from the 2016 report include:

  • Unemployment for veterans who served on active duty in the U.S. Armed Forces at any time since September 2001 edged down to 5.1 percent in 2016.
  • In 2016, the annual average unemployment rate for women veterans was not significantly different from all male veterans or all nonveterans of either gender. This makes the fourth consecutive year that the unemployment rates of women veterans was not statistically different from that of women nonveterans.
  • The unemployment rate for male veterans (4.2 percent) edged down over the year, and the rate for female veterans (5.0 percent) changed little.
  • Among the 453,000 unemployed veterans in 2016, 60 percent were age 45 and over, 36 percent were 25 to 44, and 4 percent were 18 to 24.
  • Veterans with a service-connected disability had an unemployment rate of 4.8 percent in August 2016, about the same as veterans with no disability (4.7 percent).
  • As of August 2016, nearly 1 in 3 employed veterans with a service-connected disability worked in the public sector, compared to about 1 in 5 veterans with no disability.
  • In 2016, the unemployment rate of veterans varied across the country, ranging from 1.8 percent in Indiana to 7.6 percent in Washington, D.C.

Read the full report here.

There are nearly 21 million veterans living in the United States. Of those, more than 450,000 were unemployed and seeking a job. While the unemployment rate for veterans may be low in an economic sense, as long as any veteran is struggling to find a job, there is more work to be done.

Help our veterans find jobs and employment resources by directing them to one of our 2,400 American Job Centers across the nation, or our online resource center at

Luke Murren is a data analyst for the Veterans’ Employment and Training Service. Follow VETS on Twitter as @VETS_DOL.


Source: By the Numbers: Veterans Unemployment Continues Downward Trend

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