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Strong veteran employment rates continue into 2016

February 5, 2016 (Photo Credit: Stephen Brashear/U.S. Chamber of Commerce Foundation via AP)


The strong veteran employment numbers charted throughout 2015 continued in the first month of the new year, government data indicate.

The unemployment rate for post-9/11 veterans was 5.7 percent in January, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, equal to the previous month's rate and in line with the 5.8 percent average for all of 2015's unemployment reports.

The unemployment rate was 4.9 percent in January, down a hair from December's 5 percent rate, with the U.S. tacking on 151,000 jobs.

The January unemployment rate for the youngest generation of veterans is up a bit from the all-time low of 4.2 percent recorded in November. Still, 5.7 percent is the lowest unemployment rate ever recorded in a January report for this group, for whom unemployment data dates back to fall 2008. The next lowest January unemployment rates were more than 2 full percentage points higher: 7.9 percent in 2014 and 2015.


January unemployment rates by year for the nation's newest vets.
Photo Credit: K. Chamberlain/Military Times

While government statisticians caution against relying too much on any single month's employment report, the positive trends for post-9/11 veterans have continued for such a long period of time — and to such a dramatic extent — that the employment gains are clear and unambiguous.

The same can be said for veterans of all generations, whose unemployment rate ticked to 4.7 percent in January. That number is in line with December's 4.8 percent rate as well as the 2015 yearly average of 4.6 percent for the group.

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