The veteran unemployment rate last month was the lowest it’s been since 2017, the latest government statistics show.

For veterans overall, the unemployment rate dropped from 3.7 percent in January to 2.7 percent in February, the lowest monthly rate on record since October 2017 and only the third time the veteran unemployment rate has dropped this low since 2000.

Post-9/11 veterans also saw a drop to 3.4 percent after an increase in unemployment between December and January. Meanwhile, the unemployment rate among nonveterans was 4 percent, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics data released today.

Experts warn against putting too much stock in the monthly unemployment numbers for veterans because the data is drawn from a small sample size and lends itself to volatility. They lean more heavily on annual averages, which have been on a downward trend for the last several years, hitting a record low in 2018.

The U.S. added about 20,000 jobs in February — many fewer than economists expected — primarily in professional and business services, health care and wholesale trade. The national unemployment rate dropped slightly to 3.8 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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