The unemployment rate among post-9/11 veterans hit a record low last month, driving the largest gap in unemployment between veterans and nonveterans so far this year.

The latest federal employment figures, released Friday by the Bureau of Labor Statistics, show veterans who have served in the military since 9/11 had an unemployment rate of 3 percent in July — the lowest it’s ever been, according to the government statistics dating back to 2006.

Veterans overall saw a dip in unemployment between the first two months of summer — from 3.3 percent in June to 3 percent in July — while the nonveteran unemployment rate stayed the same at 4 percent.

Experts warn against putting too much stock in individual employment reports, however. The monthly figures can be volatile, since the data on veterans is drawn from a smaller sample size than the overall population, so it’s better to look at trends over longer periods of time.

The national unemployment rate was 3.9 percent in July, down just slightly from 4 percent the previous month, according to BLS figures. The U.S. added about 157,000 jobs, primarily in the professional and business services, manufacturing, and health care and social assistance 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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