Veteran Unemployment Rates

Open Interactive Chart

Veteran unemployment rates were higher than the nonveteran rates between 2009 and 2013, except in 2011.  However, the disparity began to close in 2014. From 2014 to 2016, the gap between veteran and nonveteran unemployment rates decreased with a higher proportion of veterans employed than nonveterans in 2016.

Los Angeles Times addressed this recent trend, “High veteran unemployment, once rampant among those returning from Afghanistan and Iraq, appears to be a thing of the past, based on data from the Labor Department” (December 2015).  Chris Tilly, an economist at the UCLA Institute for Research on Labor and Employment, cited public relations as the main motivation for companies to employ more veterans. Despite the ostensible victory for veterans in the workforce, the same Times article reported that corporate hiring campaigns believe that “the unemployment rate in the general population should not be the bar for veterans” and that their work is not done “until every veteran who wants a job is hired.”

Who is unemployed?  Unemployed persons are those who did not have a job, were available for work, and were actively looking for a job in the 4 weeks preceding the survey.

Technical details:  In general, Propel L.A. uses the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) or the CA Employment Development Department (EDD) for unemployment rates. However, neither sources provide the annual veteran unemployment rates in Los Angeles County.  Therefore, Propel L.A. utilizes the American Community Survey (ACS) for this metric since such data is available in the ACS.