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The unemployment rate for veterans who served on active duty in the U.S. Armed Forces at any time since September 2001--a group referred to as Gulf War-era II veterans--declined by 1.8 percentage points over the year to 7.2 percent in 2014, the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics reported today. The jobless rate for all veterans, at 5.3 percent, also declined from a year earlier. In addition, 29 percent of Gulf War-era II veterans reported having a service-connected disability in August 2014, compared with 16 percent of all veterans. This information was obtained from the Current Population Survey (CPS), a monthly sample survey of about 60,000 households that provides data on employment and unemployment in the United States. Data about veterans are collected monthly in the CPS; those monthly data are the source of the 2014 annual averages presented in this news release. In August 2014, a supplement to the CPS collected additional information about veterans on topics such as service-connected disability and veterans' current or past Reserve or National Guard membership. Information from the supplement is also presented in this release. The supplement was co-sponsored by the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs and by the U.S. Department of Labor's Veterans' Employment and Training Service. For more information, see the Technical Note, which provides definitions of terms used in this release. Highlights from the 2014 data: --The unemployment rate for male veterans declined to 5.2 percent in 2014. The rate for female veterans edged down to 6.0 percent. (See table A.) --Among the 573,000 unemployed veterans in 2014, 59 percent were age 45 and over. Thirty-seven percent were age 25 to 44, and 4 percent were age 18 to 24. (See table 2A.) --Veterans with a service-connected disability had an unemployment rate of 5.9 percent in August 2014, the same rate as for veterans with no disability. (See table 7.) --Nearly 1 in 3 employed veterans with a service-connected disability worked in the public sector in August 2014, compared with nearly 1 in 5 veterans with no disability. (See table 8.) --In 2014, the unemployment rate of veterans varied by state, ranging from 1.4 percent in North Dakota to 8.5 percent in Maryland. (See table 6A.) The Veteran Population In 2014, 21.2 million men and women, or 9 percent of the civilian noninstitutional population age 18 and over, were veterans. In the survey, veterans are defined as men and women who have previously served on active duty in the U.S. Armed Forces and who were civilians at the time these data were collected. Veterans are more likely to be men and older than nonveterans. In part, this reflects the characteristics of veterans who served during World War II, the Korean War, and the Vietnam era. Veterans who served during these wartime periods accounted for 44 percent (9.4 million) of the total veteran population in 2014. Thirty-one percent of veterans (6.5 million) served during Gulf War era I (August 1990 to August 2001) or Gulf War era II (September 2001 forward). Another quarter (5.3 million) served outside the designated wartime periods. (See table 1.) Gulf War-era II Veterans In 2014, there were 3.2 million veterans who had served during Gulf War era II. Twenty percent of these veterans were women, compared with 4 percent of veterans from World War II, the Korean War, and the Vietnam era. Nearly half of all Gulf War-era II veterans were between the ages of 25 and 34. (See tables 1 and 2A.) Among Gulf War-era II veterans, the unemployment rate for men declined from 8.8 percent in 2013 to 6.9 percent in 2014. The unemployment rate for women (8.5 percent) in 2014 was not statistically different from the prior year (9.6 percent). (See table A.) The unemployment rate for male Gulf War-era II veterans (6.9 percent) was higher than the rate for male nonveterans (6.2 percent) in 2014. In general, unemployment rates of male veterans and male nonveterans in the same age ranges were not statistically different. However, among men age 25 to 34, Gulf War-era II veterans had a higher unemployment rate (7.5 percent) than did nonveterans (6.3 percent). (See table 2B.) Among women, the unemployment rate for Gulf War-era II veterans (8.5 percent) was higher than the rate for nonveterans (5.9 percent) in 2014. By age, unemployment rates for female veterans and nonveterans were similar with one exception: 35-to 44-year-old female veterans had a rate of 9.0 percent, higher than the rate of 4.8 percent for their nonveteran counterparts. (See table 2C.) Veterans of Gulf War era II and nonveterans had similar occupational profiles in 2014 after accounting for gender. About one-third of employed veteran and nonveteran men worked in management and professional occupations, a higher proportion than in any other major occupational group. Among employed women, just over 40 percent of Gulf War-era II veterans and nonveterans worked in management and professional occupations. (See table 4.) A higher proportion of employed Gulf War-era II veterans worked in the public sector in 2014 than employed nonveterans--25 percent and 14 percent, respectively. Among the employed, 14 percent of Gulf War-era II veterans worked for the federal government, compared with 2 percent of employed nonveterans. (See table 5.) In August 2014, 36 percent of Gulf War-era II veterans reported serving in Iraq, Afghanistan, or both. (Some veterans did not report their location of service.) These veterans had an unemployment rate of 8.4 percent, not statistically different from Gulf War-era II veterans who served elsewhere (7.8 percent). (See table 10.) Gulf War-era I Veterans Of the 3.4 million veterans who served during Gulf War era I (August 1990 to August 2001), the proportion who were women (19 percent in 2014) was similar to that of Gulf War-era II veterans. Almost all (95 percent) Gulf War-era I veterans were age 35 and over in 2014, compared with 45 percent of Gulf War-era II veterans. (See tables 1 and 2A.) In 2014, the unemployment rates for male and female Gulf War-era I veterans were 4.0 percent and 5.2 percent, respectively, lower than the rates for their Gulf War-era II veteran counterparts (6.9 percent and 8.5 percent, respectively). These differences in the unemployment rates reflect, at least in part, the older age profile of veterans who served during Gulf War era I. Younger people--whether veterans or nonveterans--tend to have higher unemployment rates than older people. (See tables 2B and 2C.) Veterans of World War II, the Korean War, and the Vietnam Era In 2014, there were 9.4 million veterans who had served during World War II, the Korean War, and the Vietnam era. All of these veterans were at least 55 years old, and about three-fourths were at least 65 years old. Nearly all (96 percent) of these veterans were men. In 2014, 28.4 percent of male veterans of these wartime periods were in the labor force, and their unemployment rate was 5.0 percent. Male veterans of these wartime periods had lower labor force participation rates than did male nonveterans in the same age categories. (See tables 1, 2A, and 2B.)
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