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Post-9/11 vet unemployment holding steady under 7 percent

May. 2, 2014 - 06:00AM   |  
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The unemployment rate for post-9/11 veterans was 6.8 percent in April, holding relatively steady and maintaining the significant drop in unemployment chalked up in March, government statistics show.

Meanwhile, the April jobs report for the nation as a whole was one of the best in years, adding 288,000 jobs, as the unemployment rate fell from 6.7 percent to 6.3 percent, the Bureau of Labor Statistics found.

The newest generation of vets is also seeing some of the best monthly jobs reports in years.

Because of the small number of people included in the vet-specific data, statisticians caution against drawing broad conclusions from a single month’s report. Indeed, between December 2013 and February 2014, the post-9/11 unemployment rate shot up from 7.3 percent to 9.2 percent, before plummeting back to 6.9 percent in March.

The 6.8 percent rate charted in April may suggest that the unemployment rate spike earlier this year was an aberration, and an unemployment rate around 7 percent presents a more accurate picture of the prospects for post-9/11 vets in the job market right now.

For the second straight month, the new numbers represent the lowest unemployment rate for such vets since November 2008. Similarly, the nation’s unemployment rate of 6.3 percent in April was the best since September 2008.

A statement from Iraq and Afghanistan Veterans of America noted that both the post-9/11 and civilian unemployment rates are dropping to levels not seen in years, but the group cautioned that the civilian job market remains among the top concerns of its members.

“The nation must continue to focus on creating economic opportunities for our veterans, particularly given the intended withdrawal of troops from Afghanistan this year and planned reductions in troop strength and force structure,” the statement said.

For all generations of veterans, unemployment stood at 5.6 percent in April, down from 6 percent in March and from April 2013, when that rate was 6.2 percent.

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