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Government work boosts younger vets’ employment

Mar. 20, 2013 - 04:25PM   |  
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One in four Iraq and Afghanistan-era veterans have government jobs, primarily with the federal government, says a new Labor Department report that finds an improved employment picture for the post-9/11 generation.

Among the 2.6 million veterans who served in the military since Sept. 11, 2001, the unemployment rate dropped from 12 percent in 2011 to 9.5 percent in 2012.

Most of that progress appeared to be among men, as the jobless rate for female post-9/11 veterans was 12.5 percent in 2012, about the same as the previous year, says the veterans employment summary released Wednesday by the Labor Department’s Bureau of Labor Statistics.

Post-9/11 veterans, especially younger ones, have a higher unemployment rate than non-veterans of the same age, the report says. While most of the focus has been on veterans aged 18 to 24, whose jobless rate has been greater than 20 percent, the report says veterans aged 25 to 34 also have a higher unemployment rate than non-veterans in the same age range.

One-third of the employed post-9/11 male veterans and half of the female veterans are employed in management or professional occupations, the report says.

Government work, at the federal, state and local level, accounts for employment of 25 percent of post-9/11 veterans, compared with 14 percent of non-veterans. This is slightly higher than for veterans of all generations, who hold about 20 percent of public-sector jobs.

Federal employment accounts for 14 percent of employment for the Iraq and Afghanistan generation of veterans, while local governments make up 7 percent and state governments make up 4 percent, the report says.

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