Former service members were employed at a higher rate than nonveterans last month, according to federal statistics released Friday.

While both groups had an unemployment rate of 3.4 percent in May, the overall veteran unemployment rate dropped slightly to 3.3 percent in June while the nonveteran unemployment rate rose to 4.0 percent. Helping to widen that gap was a drop in unemployment among post-9/11 veterans — from 4.2 percent to 3.7 percent between the two months.

Experts warn against putting too much stock in these trends, however. The monthly figures, put out by the Bureau of Labor Statistics, can be volatile, since the data on veterans is drawn from a smaller sample size than the overall population.

The U.S. added about 213,000 jobs in June, primarily in the manufacturing, health care and professional and business service industries. The national unemployment rate, which hit an 18-year low in May, rose to 4 percent.

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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