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Jobless rate for recent vets increased in January

Feb. 7, 2014 - 06:00AM   |  
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The unemployment rate for post-9/11 veterans ticked up in January, while the nation’s overall unemployment rate held relatively steady, according to new Labor Department data.

As a whole, the U.S. economy added 113,000 jobs, with the unemployment rate landing at 6.6 percent last month, as compared to 6.7 percent in December, the Bureau of Labor Statistics reported.

But unemployment among post-9/11 veterans increased to 7.9 percent, up from December’s mark of 7.3 percent. That is still down significantly from a year ago, however, when the veteran’s jobless rate stood at 11.7 percent.

Jacqueline Maffucci, research director for Iraq and Afghanistan Veterans of America, wrote in a blog post that even as unemployment for post-9/11 vets declined in 2013, many are still having trouble finding jobs.

“Post-9/11 veterans continue to have a higher unemployment rate than both the national average and other veterans,” her blog post said.

She later added: “It is clear we must sustain a national private-public effort to employ veterans, whose capabilities and leadership skills make them an incredible asset.”

For the veteran population as a whole, the unemployment rate went to 5.6 percent in January, up slightly from 5.5 percent in December. One year ago, that rate was 7.6 percent.

Labor Department statisticians warn against attempting to draw major conclusions from any one month’s jobs report, as short-term fluctuations are common.

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