- Beretta leaves Maryland over gun laws, heads for Tennessee
- Neal Boortz defends Hillary Clinton for representing child rapist
- House task force to recommend National Guard on border, faster deportations
- Top federal judge uses pizza to explain complex Obamacare situation
- Obama, Biden overhaul job training programs
- Drought-plagued Californians turn to paint to keep lawns green
- ISIL now forcing Iraqi shopkeepers to veil mannequins in Mosul
- 11 parents of Nigeria’s abducted girls die
- Genetic mapping triggers new hope on schizophrenia
- Turkish P.M. Erdogan won’t speak to Obama, but he’ll take calls from Biden
Veterans’ unemployment edges down but remains high
Question of the Day
WASHINGTON (AP) - The unemployment rate for veterans who served since 2001 dipped slightly in 2013 to 9 percent, the Labor Department reported Thursday. That’s down from 9.9 percent the year before, but well above overall civilian unemployment levels of around 7 percent over the same period.
The youngest veterans, aged 18-24, posted an ultra-high jobless rate of 21.4 percent, said the agency’s Bureau of Labor Statistics in its annual review of unemployment among former members of the armed services.
The report documents that, despite training and job skills acquired in the military, young veterans of recent conflicts have generally encountered more difficulty in finding work than civilians.
“Veterans have the skills that employers are looking for. They make our nation’s workforce more productive, our companies more profitable and our economy more competitive. Smart businesses recruit veterans because it’s in their self-interest, because they know it’s a sound investment in their bottom line,” Labor Secretary Thomas E. Perez said in a statement.
Veterans with the highest jobless numbers served in the military after the Sept. 11, 2001, terror attacks.
For all veterans, the unemployment rate was 6.6 percent in 2013, down from 7 percent the year before.
That’s not markedly different from overall unemployment levels in the United States, which averaged 7.4 percent in 2013 and finished the year with a 6.7 percent rate for December. The most recent overall unemployment rate was also 6.7 percent in February 2014.
“Those in the youngest group are experiencing unemployment at a higher rate than their nonveteran peers,” said Teresa W. Gerton, deputy assistant secretary for policy in the department’s Veterans’ Employment and Training Service.
“But their labor participation rates are higher. Their attachment to the labor force is stronger. They’re out there trying to get a job,” Gerton said in an interview. She suggested that the picture will get brighter “as the economy continues to recover.”
Gerton said there has always been a transition period as people leave the military and join the civilian workforce. “We work closely with a broad spectrum of employers” to help shorten that transition time, she said. “They understand the value that veterans bring.”
The economy is still digging out from the 2007-2009 Great Recession and it will likely be some time before overall unemployment returns to pre-recessionary levels of 5 percent or lower.
Heidi Shierholz, an economist with the labor-oriented Economic Policy Institute, said the new report documents a well-known trend: “We all know that young workers have higher unemployment rates. It doesn’t mean they’re worse off as a group.”
Other highlights of the veterans’ jobs report:
-Twenty-nine percent of veterans serving since 2001 reported having a service-connected disability as of last August, compared with 15 percent of all veterans.
- In 2013, 21.4 million men and women, or 9 percent of the general population age 18 and over, were veterans.
TWT Video Picks
The president could pay the full price for ignoring Congress
- IRS seeks help destroying another 3,200 computer hard drives
- David Perdue defeats Jack Kingston in Georgia Republican Senate primary runoff
- 'Straight White Guy Festival' supposedly set for Ohio park
- D.C. appeals panel deals big blow to Obamacare subsidies
- Pentagon team dispatched to Ukraine amid crisis with Russia
- MAY: Barbarians at Jordan's gate
- Hamas terrorists wear Israeli army uniforms to ambush soldiers in Gaza
- Beretta moving to Tennessee over Maryland gun laws
- McCLAUGHRY: Finish off the "Islamic State" quickly and cheaply
- BERMAN & MADYOON: An Iranian-Turkish reset
Obama's biggest White House 'fails'
Celebrities turned politicians
Athletes turned actors
20 gadgets that changed the world
Fighting in Iraq