WASHINGTON (AP) — The unemployment rate for veterans who served since 2001 dipped slightly in 2013 to 9 percent, the Labor Department reported Thursday. That’s down from 9.9 percent the year before, but well above overall civilian unemployment levels of around 7 percent over the same period.
The youngest veterans, aged 18-24, posted an ultra-high jobless rate of 21.4 percent, said the agency’s Bureau of Labor Statistics in its annual review of unemployment among former members of the armed services.
The report documents that, despite training and job skills acquired in the military, young veterans of recent conflicts have generally encountered more difficulty in finding work than civilians.
“Veterans have the skills that employers are looking for. They make our nation’s workforce more productive, our companies more profitable and our economy more competitive. Smart businesses recruit veterans because it’s in their self-interest, because they know it’s a sound investment in their bottom line,” Labor Secretary Thomas E. Perez said in a statement.