As the national unemployment rate remained unchanged for the sixth month in a row, the percentage of veterans without jobs ticked upward in March, the latest federal figures show.

The unemployment rate among post-9/11 veterans grew to 5 percent last month — up from 3.3 percent in February, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics. For veterans of all eras, the unemployment rate rose from 3.5 to 4.1 percent, slightly higher than the nonveteran rate of 4 percent.

Experts warn the monthly veteran unemployment numbers can be volatile, since the data is drawn from a smaller sample size than the overall population. Annual averages show post-9/11 veteran unemployment has declined significantly since its peak of 12.1 percent in 2011, reaching an all-time low annual average of 4.5 percent in 2017.

Nationally, unemployment remained steady at 4.1 percent as the U.S. added 103,000 jobs, primarily in the manufacturing, health care and mining fields.

Military Times contributor and former reporter Natalie Gross hosts the Spouse Angle podcast. She grew up in a military family and has a master's degree in journalism from Georgetown University.

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