The Employment Situation of Veterans

Employment Reports


Each month the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) releases their employment and unemployment report. Below are some key insights from those reports focused on veteran employment.

Cover of Employment Situation of veterans for September

September 2021


Today, October 8th, the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) reported employment rose by 194,000 in September, and the unemployment rate fell to 4.8 percent. Job gains occurred in leisure and hospitality, in professional and business services, in retail trade, and in transportation and warehousing. Employment in public education declined.[1] For veterans, unemployment stayed the same at 3.6 percent in September. Post-9/11 veteran unemployment increased from 3.1 percent to 3.5 percent in September. Of the total 304,000 unemployed veterans ages 18 and over, 28 percent have been unemployed for less than five weeks and 72 percent have been unemployed for more than five weeks. The average length of unemployment is 28.6 (the median is 18.5 weeks). The overall unemployment trend varies by different veteran demographic factors, however, some more than others.

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August 2021 Cover of Employment Situation

August 2021


Today, September 3rd, the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) reported employment rose by 235,000 in August, and the unemployment rate declined by 0.2 percentage point to 5.2 percent. So far this year, monthly job growth has averaged 586,000. In August, notable job gains occurred in professional and business services, transportation and warehousing, private education, manufacturing, and other services. Employment in retail trade declined over the month. For veterans, unemployment decreased to 3.6 percent in August. Post-9/11 veteran unemployment decreased from 4.1 percent to 3.1 percent in August. Of the total 303,000 unemployed veterans ages 18 and over, 19 percent have been unemployed for less than five weeks and 81 percent have been unemployed for more than five weeks. The average length of unemployment is 34.0 weeks (the median is 17.4 weeks). The overall unemployment trend varies by different veteran demographic factors, however, some more than others.

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Cover of July's employment situation of veterans

July 2021


Today, August 6th, the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) reported employment rose by 943,000 in July, and the unemployment rate declined by 0.5 percentage point to 5.4 percent. Notable job gains occurred in leisure and hospitality, in local government education, and in professional and business services. For veterans, unemployment decreased to 4.0 percent in July. Post-9/11 veteran unemployment decreased from 5.2 percent to 4.1 percent in July. Of the total 356,000 unemployed veterans ages 18 and over, 22 percent have been unemployed for less than five weeks and 78 percent have been unemployed for more than five weeks. The average length of unemployment is 33.8 weeks (the median is 18.4 weeks). The overall unemployment trend varies by different veteran demographic factors, however, some more than others.

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Cover of July veteran employment report

June 2021


Today, July 2nd,  the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) reported that employment rose by 850,000 in June, and the unemployment rate was little changed at 5.9 percent. Notable job gains occurred in leisure and hospitality, public and private education, professional and business services, retail trade, and other services. For veterans, unemployment increased to 4.8 percent in June. Post-9/11 veteran unemployment increased from 4.0 percent to 5.2 percent in June. Of the total 437,000 unemployed veterans ages 18 and over, 31 percent have been unemployed for less than five weeks and 69 percent have been unemployed for more than five weeks. The average length of unemployment is 34.2 weeks (the median is 17.7 weeks). The overall unemployment trend varies by different veteran demographic factors, however, some more than others.

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Veteran employment report for may cover

May 2021


Today, June 4th, the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) reported that employment rose by 559,000 in May, and the unemployment rate declined by 0.3 percentage point to 5.8 percent. Notable job gains occurred in leisure and hospitality, in public and private education, and in health care and social assistance. For veterans, unemployment decreased to 4.1 percent in May. Post-9/11 veteran unemployment decreased from 5.1 percent to 4.0 percent in May. Of the total 379,000 unemployed veterans ages 18 and over, 23 percent have been unemployed for less than five weeks and 77 percent have been unemployed for more than five weeks. The average length of unemployment is 37 weeks (the median is 21.4 weeks). The overall unemployment trend varies by different veteran demographic factors, however, some more than others.

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April employment report cover

April 2021


Today, the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) reported that employment rose by 266,000 in April, and the unemployment rate was little changed at 6.1 percent. Notable job gains in leisure and hospitality, other services, and local government education were partially offset by employment declines in temporary help services and in couriers and messengers. For veterans, unemployment increased to 5.2 percent in April. Post-9/11 veteran unemployment decreased from 6.1 percent to 5.1 percent in April. Of the total 480,000 unemployed veterans ages 18 and over, 19 percent have been unemployed for less than five weeks and 81 percent have been unemployed for more than five weeks. The average length of unemployment is 32.8 weeks (the median is 21.0 weeks). The overall unemployment trend varies by different veteran demographic factors, however, some more than others.

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Cover of employment situation report for March 2021

March 2021


Today, the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) reported that employment rose by 916,000 in March, and the unemployment rate edged down to 6.0 percent. Job growth was widespread in March, led by gains in leisure and hospitality, public and private education, and construction. For veterans, unemployment decreased to 5.0 in March. Post-9/11 veteran unemployment increased from 5.9 percent to 6.1 percent in March. Of the total 452,000 unemployed veterans ages 18 and over, 17 percent have been unemployed for less than five weeks and 83 percent have been unemployed for more than five weeks. The average length of unemployment is 31.7 weeks (the median is 19.5 weeks). The overall unemployment trend varies by different veteran demographic factors, however, some more than others.

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Cover of Employment Report for February 2021

February 2021


Today, March 5th, the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) reported that employment rose by 379,000 in February, and the unemployment rate was little changed at 6.2 percent. In February, most of the job gains occurred in leisure and hospitality, with smaller gains in temporary help services, health care and social assistance, retail trade, and manufacturing. Employment declined in state and local government education, construction, and mining. For veterans, unemployment remained the same at 5.5 percent in February. Post-9/11 veteran unemployment decreased from 6.3 percent to 5.9 percent in February. Of the total 497,000 unemployed veterans ages 18 and over, 21 percent have been unemployed for less than five weeks and 79 percent have been unemployed for more than five weeks. The average length of unemployment is 33.3 weeks (the median is 20.9 weeks). The overall unemployment trend varies by different veteran demographic factors, however, some more than others.

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Cover of January 2021 Employment Report

January 2021


Today, February 5th, the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) reported that unemployment rate fell by 0.4 percentage point to 6.3 percent in January… notable job gains in professional and business services and in both public and private education were offset by losses in leisure and hospitality, in retail trade, in health care, and in transportation and warehousing. For veterans, unemployment increased to 5.5 percent in January. Post-9/11 veteran unemployment increased from 5.1 percent to 6.3 percent in January. Of the total 500,000 unemployed veterans ages 18 and over, 26 percent have been unemployed for less than five weeks and 74 percent have been unemployed for more than five weeks. The average length of unemployment is 27.5 weeks (the median is 17.7 weeks). The overall unemployment trend varies by different veteran demographic factors, however, some more than others.

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Cover of December 2020 unemployment report

December 2020


Today, January 8th, 2021, the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) reported that employment declined by 140,000 in December, and the unemployment rate was unchanged at 6.7 percent. In December, job losses in leisure and hospitality and in private education were partially offset by gains in professional and business services, retail trade, and construction. For veterans, unemployment decreased to 5.3 percent in December. Post-9/11 veteran unemployment decreased from 6.9 percent to 5.1 percent in December. Of the total 462,000 unemployed veterans ages 18 and over, 21 percent have been unemployed for less than five weeks and 79 percent have been unemployed for more than five weeks. The average length of unemployment is 28.3 weeks (the median is 19.5 weeks). The overall unemployment trend varies by different veteran demographic factors, however, some more than others.

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Cover of Unemployment Report for November 2020

November 2020


Today, December 4th, the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) reported that employment rose by 245,000 in November, and the unemployment rate edged down to 6.7 percent … In November, notable job gains occurred in transportation and warehousing, professional and business services, and health care. Employment declined in government and retail trade. For veterans, unemployment increased to 6.3 percent in November. Post-9/11 veteran unemployment increased from 6.2 percent to 6.9 percent in November. Of the total 552,000 unemployed veterans ages 18 and over, 21 percent have been unemployed for less than five weeks and 79 percent have been unemployed for more than five weeks. The average length of unemployment is 23.1 weeks (the median is 16.8 weeks). The overall unemployment trend varies by different veteran demographic factors, however, some more than others.

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Cover of Unemployment Report

October 2020


Today, November 6th, the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) reported that employment rose by 638,000 in October, and the unemployment rate declined to 6.9 percent. These improvements in the labor market reflect the continued resumption of economic activity that had been curtailed due to the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic and efforts to contain it. In October, notable job gains occurred in leisure and hospitality, professional and business services, retail trade, and construction. Employment in government declined.[1] For veterans, unemployment decreased to 5.5 percent in October. Post-9/11 veteran unemployment decreased from 7.5 percent to 6.2 percent in October. Of the total 483,000 unemployed veterans ages 18 and over, 26 percent have been unemployed for less than five weeks and 74 percent have been unemployed for more than five weeks. The average length of unemployment is 21.9 weeks (the median is 15.6 weeks). The overall unemployment trend varies by different veteran demographic factors, however, some more than others.

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Unemployment report for september.

September 2020


Today, October 2nd, the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) reported that employment rose by 661,000 in September, and the unemployment rate declined to 7.9 percent. In September, notable job gains occurred in leisure and hospitality, in retail trade, in health care and social assistance, and in professional and business services. Employment in government declined over the month, mainly in state and local government.[1] For veterans, unemployment remained unchanged at 6.4 percent in September. Post-9/11 veteran unemployment increased from 7.0 percent to 7.5 percent in September. Of the total 568,000 unemployed veterans ages 18 and over, 23 percent have been unemployed for less than five weeks and 77 percent have been unemployed for five weeks or more. The average length of unemployment is 23.8 weeks (the median is 17.4 weeks). The overall unemployment trend varies by different veteran demographic factors, however, some more than others.

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Cover of August 2020 Unemployment report

August 2020


Today, September 4th 2020, the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) reported that employment rose by 1.4 million in August, and the unemployment rate fell to 8.4 percent. These improvements in the labor market reflect the continued resumption of economic activity that had been curtailed due to the pandemic, as well as hiring for the 2020 Census.  In August, an increase in government employment largely reflected temporary hiring for the 2020 Census. Notable job gains also occurred in retail trade, in professional and business services, in leisure and hospitality, and in education and health services.  For veterans, unemployment decreased from 7.9 percent in July to 6.4 percent in August. Post-9/11 veteran unemployment also decreased from 8.2 percent in July to 7.0 percent in August. This overall trend varies for the different veteran demographic factors, however, some more than others.

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Cover of July Unemployment Report

July 2020


Today, August 7th, the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) reported that employment rose by 1.8 million in July, and the unemployment rate fell to 10.2 percent, the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics reported today. These improvements in the labor market reflected the continued resumption of economic activity that had been curtailed due to the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic and efforts to contain it. In July, notable job gains occurred in leisure and hospitality, government, retail trade, professional and business services, other services, and health care.

For veterans, unemployment decreased from 8.6 percent in June 2020 to 7.9 percent in July 2020. Post-9/11 veteran unemployment also decreased from 10.3 percent in June 2020 to 8.2 percent in July 2020. This overall trend varies for the different veteran demographic factors, however, some more than others. Read More ▶ 

Cover page of June unemployment report.

June 2020


Today, July 2nd, the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) reported that employment rose by 4.8 million in June, and the unemployment rate fell to 11.1 percent. These improvements in the labor market reflected the continued resumption of economic activity that had been curtailed in March and April due to the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic. In June, employment in leisure and hospitality rose sharply. Notable job gains also occurred in retail trade, education and health services, other services, manufacturing, and professional and business services. For veterans, unemployment decreased from 9.0 percent in May 2020 to 8.6 percent in June 2020. Post-9/11 veteran unemployment stayed the same at 10.3 percent. The veteran unemployment trend varies, however, by different demographic factors.   Read More ▶ 

Unemployment Rate for veterans in May 2020 cover page.

May 2020


Today, June 5th 2020, the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) reported that employment rose by 2.5 million in May, and the unemployment rate declined to 13.3 percent. These improvements in the labor market reflected a limited resumption of economic activity that had been curtailed in March and April due to the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic and efforts to contain it. In May, employment rose sharply in leisure and hospitality, construction, education and health services, and retail trade. By contrast, employment in government continued to decline sharply.  For veterans, unemployment decreased from 11.7 percent in April 2020 to 9.0 in May 2020. Post-9/11 veteran unemployment decreased from 13.0 percent to 10.3 percent in the same time period. This overall trend has decreased for the different veteran demographic factors, however, some more than others.  Read More ▶

April 2020


Today, May 8, 2020, the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) reported that employment fell by 20.5 million in April 2020, and the unemployment rate rose to 14.7 percent. The changes in these measures reflect the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic. Employment fell sharply in all major industry sectors, with heavy job losses in leisure and hospitality. For veterans, total veteran unemployment increased from 4.1 percent to 11.7 in the same period. Post-9/11 veteran unemployment increased from 4.1 percent in March to 13.0 percent in April 2020. This overall trend has increased for the different veteran demographic factors, however, some more than others…. Read More ▶

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