Military Connection: Who Are the Unemployed Veterans?

unemployed Veterans

By Debbie Gregory.

Each month, the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) publishes its report, “The Employment Situation.” Economists and concerned citizens view this report in order to track a variety of employment trends. uses the BLS data to track the statistics for Veterans, with a focus on the current generation of Veterans, transitioning out of uniform and into civilian employment. Data for the February 2015 Report was published on March 6, 2015.

Post-9/11 Veterans are referred to in the report as “Gulf War-era II Veterans.” Gulf War-era II Veterans have consistently recorded among the highest levels of unemployment in BLS reports. In the most recent report, Gulf War-era II Veterans recorded an unemployment rate of 6.7% for February 2015. While this number is down from January, 2015’s mark of 7.9% and considerably lower than February of last year’s rate of 9.2%, it is still one point higher than non-veteran totals. It is also1.2% higher than the national unemployment rate of 5.5%.

But a more telling picture of the unemployment picture for Post-9/11 Veterans was posted in a November 2014 BLS report titled “Employment and Unemployment Among All Veterans, Gulf-War-era II, and Nonveterans.” In this report, the unemployment data is broken down by war-era/non veteran as well as by age.

The data shows that Veterans over age 35 had an unemployment rate that was much more in tune with their non-veteran peers during 2013. All Veterans had a 6% unemployment rate, Gulf War-era II Veterans had a 6.4% rate, while non-veterans notched a 5.9% rating.

On the other hand, Veterans aged 18 to 24 years old, all them Gulf War-era, and comprising most of the fighting force for the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan saw an unemployment rate of 21.4% in 2013, versus 14.3% for non-veterans.

The BLS data shows that an “area of focus” needs to be addressed in order to improve Veteran employment. It is not always enough to create initiatives and hiring programs that are geared towards “Veterans” or even “Post-9/11 Veterans.” Utilizing the data provided by the BLS, employers and Veteran advocates who are serious about combating unemployment among those who served in the military will start focusing their efforts on Veterans aged 18 to 24, who are the most unemployed group.

Military Connection proudly serves those who serve in the Army, Navy, Air Force, Marines, Coast Guard, Guard and Reserve, Veterans and their Families. We are the go to site for Veteran Employment and information on Veteran education. provides Veterans with and Directory of Employers, a Job Board, information on the Post-9/11 GI Bill, and a blog that offers Veterans boundless information. Be sure to visit, the go to site.

Military Connection: Who Are the Unemployed Veterans? By Debbie Gregory