Youngest veterans struggle most with unemployment, data shows

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Unemployment rates among military veterans has been lower than the overall jobless rate, but not necessarily among troops who served after 9/11. (Mark Wilson/AP).
Unemployment rates among military veterans has been lower than the overall jobless rate, but not necessarily among troops who served after 9/11. (Mark Wilson/AP).

Today is Veterans Day, and the Bureau of Labor Statistics recently released its October jobs numbers. With that in mind, let’s take a look at how veterans have fared in terms of unemployment lately.

The overall U.S. jobless rate dropped to 5.8 percent last month, reaching its lowest level in six years. That’s encouraging news, but veterans have experienced even better numbers.

The non-seasonally adjusted unemployment rate for former service members fell to 4.5 percent in October, dropping to its lowest point since August 2008.

Veteran unemployment reached an Obama administration high in January 2011, when the non-seasonally adjusted jobless rate for that segment reached nearly 10 percent, according to the bureau’s data. Since then, the rate has generally declined, always staying below the unemployment rate for the overall workforce.

Despite those trends, the data shows that post-9/11 veterans in particular have struggled find work more than the general workforce and more than troops who served in previous eras of conflict. About 9 percent of former service members from Iraq and Afghanistan were unemployed in 2013, compared to about 6.6 percent of veterans overall and 7.2 percent of non-veterans

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