Wednesday, November 12, 2014

October Veteran Unemployment Statistics

Last week the VA released the latest veteran unemployment statistics.

"As with the first Friday of every month, the BLS employment statistics were released today.  Attached is our ‘cheat sheet’ for your use and information.  The national unemployment rate went down from 5.9% to 5.8% while the Veteran unemployment numbers went from 4.7% to 4.5%. Thanks to all of you who are working directly or indirectly, to ensure our Veterans have meaningful employment."

Each month I go directly to the Department of Labor Bureau of Labor Statistics website and pull the raw numbers, which I then put into an Excel spreadsheet.  To me the picture isn't quite as positive as the above quote from the VA which shows veteran unemployment significantly lower than the national rate.

Here's the problem.  Veterans from Gulf War Era I (meaning Desert Storm) have a 2.8% unemployment rate, down from 3.2% last month.  Veterans from Gulf War Era II (post 9/11) have a 7.2% unemployment rate, up from 6.2% last month but down from 10% a year ago.  

The Gulf War Era I veteran rate drives the entire veteran unemployment rate down significantly - and overshadows the high unemployment rate of those carrying the greatest burden now - the post 9/11 veteran.

How's this for a VA unemployment status report:  The unemployment rate for non-veterans dropped to 5.4% this month, and the overall veteran rate dropped to 4.5%.  However the post 9/11 veteran unemployment rate is rising again, now to 7.2%.

And oh by the way, the unemployment rate for post 9/11 female veterans is over 11%.

The graphs below help show the true picture.  

In the month of October:
  • the unemployment rate for all veterans is 20% lower than a civilian
  • the unemployment rate for a Desert Storm vet is 93% lower than a civilian
  • the unemployment rate for a post 9/11 vet is 25% higher than a civilian