The unemployment rate for younger veterans rose again last month even as the national jobless rate dipped to its lowest level in 50 years.
Officials from the Bureau of Labor Statistics said number of post-9/11 era veterans filing for unemployment benefits rose in September, pushing the rate to 4.5 percent. It’s the highest that figure has been since early 2018, and the fifth time in the last six months that figure has increased since the young veteran unemployment rate hit a historic low of 1.7 percent in April.
The figure translates into about 157,000 younger veterans looking for work. The overall veterans unemployment rate dropped from 3.5 percent in August to 3.1 percent in September.
Employment experts have cautioned against focusing too closely on monthly changes in unemployment for sub-groups within the Labor Department’s surveys of American workers, because small changes in sample sizes can produce significant moves in the numbers.
Even with the increases, the monthly post-9/11 numbers are still significantly below figures from two years ago, when the rates topped 4.5 percent six times, and in 2016, when the rates topped that mark eight times.
Nationally, the unemployment rate fell to 3.5 percent, the lowest since December of 1969. President Donald Trump applauded the news on Twitter Friday morning and also used it to take a shot at congressional Democrats pursuing an impeachment investigation.
About 136,000 jobs were added to the national economy last month, slightly below analysts’ expectations.
The 3.1 percent unemployment rate for all veterans translates into about 280,000 veterans nationwide looking for work last month.
Leo covers Congress, Veterans Affairs and the White House for Military Times. He has covered Washington, D.C. since 2004, focusing on military personnel and veterans policies. His work has earned numerous honors, including a 2009 Polk award, a 2010 National Headliner Award, the IAVA Leadership in Journalism award and the VFW News Media award.