Earlier this month, the Bureau of Labor Statistics released their June unemployment numbers for veterans. The report includes the breakdown for one closely watched group: Iraq and Afghanistan war veterans (“Gulf II-era veterans”). And while the numbers are still worse than the national average, the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs blog reports that the rate for this group fell “more than three full percentage points to 9.5 percent.”
While much remains to be done, since January 2012, post-9/11 Veterans have experienced the lowest unemployment rate in any combined six-month period since 2008 — with the rate reaching single digits in four of the last six months. Additionally, the trend over the past 30 months — since January 2010 — remains downward for America’s most recent Veterans.
Month-to-month unemployment rate figures for this demographic are fairly volatile, but the long-term trend has shown a consistent decline over this two and a half-year period — a strong sign of recovery following the worst economic disaster since The Great Depression.
Several new laws aimed at putting veterans back to work passed by Congress and signed by President Obama have been enacted in the past year, including the Vow to Hire Heroes Act of 2011 — which offered tax breaks to companies who hired out-of-work veterans — and the Veterans Skills to Jobs Act (signed Monday). The White House’s Joining Forces website offers veterans resources for job hunting, education and training services.