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It’s an oft-cited statistic in the conversation about modern veterans – the high rate of unemployment.

Buried in last week’s jobs report for April is the truth – the unemployment rate for veterans is significantly better than the general workforce:

BLS JOBS NUMBERS

 

5.6 percent. This compared to the 6.3 percent everyone was raving over with the national average — a number that included the estimated 800,000 workers who dropped out of the labor market.

For modern veterans, which the Bureau of Labor and Statistics calls “Gulf War Era II veterans” and defines as any veteran of the armed forces who served after Sept. 11, 2001, the unemployment rate was 6.8 percent for April. Bear in mind that 65 percent of that demographic is under the age of 35 and the national unemployment rate for those 25-34 is a virtually equivalent 6.6 percent.

The reality is that veterans of the modern military are some of the most skilled and contributing members of American society.

A modern veteran is significantly more likely to have graduated high school than his or her counterpart in the civilian world. He or she is also less likely to have a criminal record. This in addition to the skills honed during their military service.