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The volatile unemployment rate for the youngest generation of veterans jumped again in July, reaching 9.2 percent, matching the highest monthly rate recorded so far this year, government data show.
For the nation as a whole, the Bureau of Labor Statistics reported that the unemployment held at 6.2 percent, up only slightly from the June rate of 6.1 percent, as the nation tacked on 209,000 jobs.
July’s numbers for post-9/11 veterans continue a two-month upswing from May, when the measure was at 5.3 percent, the lowest rate ever recorded for the group. And that low was a big drop from the February rate of 9.2 percent.
Such fluctuations are characteristic of this unemployment measure, which has a small sample size that can complicate efforts to draw conclusions about their true employment picture.
The July 2014 vets’ unemployment rate is also significantly higher than the July 2013 mark of 7.7 percent, casting doubt on apparent gains made in 2014’s previous months — and making it appear more likely that May’s all-time low was an aberration.
Still, while a 9.2 percent rate represents a spike in unemployment in this year, it would have qualified only as average in 2013, which had an annual veterans’ unemployment rate of 9 percent for the full year. This year, as an average through July, the unemployment rate for post-9/11 veterans is 7.5 percent.
Among veterans of all generations, unemployment increased to 6 percent in July, up from June’s 5.4 percent mark but down from the 6.4 percent charted in July 2013.