Employment and Unemployment among U.S. Veterans

Here is a snapshot on employment and unemployment among the U.S. veteran population.  The figures are courtesy of a new report from the Department of Labor (DOL). 


The DOL defines veterans as individuals who served on active duty in the U.S. Armed Forces and were civilians at the time of their participation in the Current Population Survey (CPS), a monthly survey used to generate employment and unemployment figures.  In its latest report, DOL provides a number of facts and figures on the veteran population.  Here is a sample: 

Basic Demographics:    

  • The majority of veterans are male, though female veterans are a growing cohort (8.1 percent of the total veteran population in 2010).
  • The majority of veterans are White, though recent veterans are more racially diverse than veterans from past service periods.  Ten percent of WWII, Korea, and Vietnam-era veterans are members of a racial minority.  Twenty percent of Gulf-War veterans are members of a racial minority.             
  • Veterans are relatively older than non-veterans, since WWII, Korea, and Vietnam-era veterans account for half the total veteran population.  The median age-range of non-veteran males is 35-45, while that of veteran males is 55-64. 

Employment and Unemployment: 

  • Due in part to their age, only 48.0 percent of veteran males were employed in 2010 (relative to 69.6 percent of nonveteran males), and a greater percentage of veteran than nonveteran males worked part time (13.5 percent vs. 12.6 percent).
  • Employment among veteran females exceeded that of nonveteran females in 2010 (57.2 percent vs. 54.9 percent), but a lesser percentage of veteran females worked part-time (18.6 percent vs. 26.0 percent). 
  • Male and female veterans experienced lower unemployment than their nonveteran counter parts in 2010 (males:  8.8 percent vs. 10.5 percent, females:  7.9 percent vs. 8.4 percent).