The unemployment rate for veterans who served in the military after 9/11 dropped to 4.6 percent in February – the most significant month-to-month dip in nearly a year, and a rate lower than non-veteran civilians.

Federal data released by the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics on Friday also show a decreasing unemployment rate for all veterans, who fared better in the workforce than non-veterans for the third month in a row.  

The annual unemployment rate for post-9/11 veterans was 5.1 percent last year, the lowest on record for the youngest generation of veterans. But critics of the Bureau of Labor Statistics data say the figures don’t accurately capture veteran employment trends, as the veteran rate is based on a much smaller sample size in the monthly Current Population Survey than the overall rate.

The U.S. added 235,000 jobs last month overall, as national unemployment decreased slightly to 4.7 percent, down from 4.8 percent in January. Among post-9/11 veterans, the unemployment rate dropped from 6.3 percent in the first month of the year -- the widest margin since last April. According to the data, approximately 83,000 veterans in this group remain without work.  

For all veterans, the February unemployment rate was 3.9 percent, the lowest in nine months.