Unemployment Rate for Veterans Continues to Drop Thanks to Robust Economy

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Veterans have great news on the employment front. As of 2015, the unemployment rate for veterans is at the lowest point since the U.S. Department of Labor began tracking these statistics. Veterans have a lower unemployment rate than civilians ages 20 and older.

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The Stats

The unemployment rate for all veterans was 4.6 percent in 2015, which is the same rate the Bureau of Labor Statistics calculated in 2008 when the agency first examined the hiring of vets. Comparatively, nonveterans ages 20 and over had an unemployment rate of 5.2 percent in 2015. The information comes from a sample of 60,000 households across the United States.

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Post-9/11 veterans had the highest unemployment rate at 5.8 percent. That figure was down from 7.2 percent in 2014, and much lower than the peak of 12.1 percent in 2011. Gulf War-era vets had the lowest unemployment rate in 2015 at below 4 percent. Of the 495,000 unemployed veterans in 2015, just 5 percent were ages 18 to 24. The most, or 57 percent, were 45 and older, while around 37 percent were ages 25 to 44.

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Best Jobs for Veterans

The lower unemployment rates for veterans indicate an improving economy as a whole, and 2016 represents a great time for veterans to find fantastic jobs. Military training prepares vets for complex, high-paying jobs that require top-notch skills, problem-solving abilities and working as a team. A business operations manager brings in more than $97,000 per year. A supply chain manager fetches more than $73,000 annually. Both of these positions fit military-trained veterans well because of the precision needed to accomplish detail-oriented tasks.

Science, technology, engineering, and math careers are also in high demand. Military STEM careers that employ computer programmers, mechanics and engineers translate well to civilian jobs. Many companies have military-friendly hiring initiatives, and several veterans' organizations also help connect vets with jobs. Plus the U.S. government gives corporations a tax break for hiring vets. The current statistics indicate that there has never been a better time for veterans to find the job of their dreams. To further explore the issue of employment for veterans, read how employers can make hiring vets easier.

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