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The United States Bureau of Labor Statistics has released its unemployment figures for January 2013. According to the report, the overall veterans unemployment rate has inched up from its January 2012 figure of 7.5 percent – this year’s rate came in at 7.6 percent. However, the most surprising comparison is that of January’s rate with December’s – last month, the veteran’s unemployment rate was just 7 percent. Within the past month, the veterans’ unemployment rate grew by .6 percent.
According to the bureau’s figures, the economy added about 157,000 jobs in January. This number is slightly higher than the number of jobs added in December, but December’s numbers are often skewed by seasonal retail jobs.
The overall unemployment rate for vets was 7.6 percent, but certain groups of veterans have a tougher time finding employment than others. For vets of the second Gulf War (often identified as post-9/11 vets), the unemployment rate was 11.7 – up more than 2.5 percent from January of last year. For female vets of this era, the unemployment rate was a troubling 17.1 percent.
World War II, Korean and Vietnam-era vets also saw some troubling figures. Their unemployment rate came in at 7.9 percent, with women from this era facing a rate of 7.4 percent – up an even 4 percent from their rate in January 2012.
Many veterans advocates and federal organizations have supported various veterans unemployment. According to the Marine Corps Times, about 80,000 vets of the second Gulf War have participated in various training and education programs. These programs are generally a form of veterans benefits, and some include one year of training under the GI Bill. With educational programs like these, many veterans advocates hope that young vets’ unemployment rates will begin to look more like those of older veteran generations.and hiring initiatives to combat
However, the veteran unemployment rate is still lower than the civilian unemployment rate, which came in at 8.3 percent. The overall unemployment rate came in at 7.9 percent, according to Forbes.
“The job market was healthier than we thought back in 2011 before losing steam last year,” FTN Financial economist Chris Low told Forbes. “And the picture painted by the last three months is of an economy losing steam again after heady job growth in September, October and November.”