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February, 1987, Vol. 110, No. 2
Labor force status
of Vietnam-era veterans
A decade after the war's end, the labor force status of Vietnam-era veterans is generally quite similar to that of nonveterans. There are exceptions, however. Those who served in the Vietnam theater (Vietnam, Laos, and Cambodia and the surrounding airspace and waters), and most particularly those who received disabling injuries from combat and other causes, have higher unemployment rates and lower labor force participation rates than their peers.
In 1985, data were collected for the first time on the labor force status of men who actually served in Southeast Asia, distinguishing between those with and without service-connected disabilities. The data confirm the precarious circumstances of disabled veterans, who are especially vulnerable to unemployment.
The information is from the Current Population Survey (CPS), a monthly survey of about 59,500 households conducted and tabulated by the U.S. Census Bureau for the Bureau of Labor Statistics. In a supplement to the April 1985 survey, men 18 years and older were asked about their service in the Armed Forces and whether they had a service-connected disability.1 (See appendix for information on the types of questions asked.) The supplement was cosponsored by the Veterans Administration (VA) and two Department of Labor agencies - the Veterans Employment and Training Service and the BLS.
This excerpt is from an article published in the February 1987 issue of the Monthly Labor Review. The full text of the article is available in Adobe Acrobat's Portable Document Format (PDF). See How to view a PDF file for more information.
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1 Respondents to the April 1985 CPS supplement were men only; however, 1 million women were also veterans, including about 250,000 from the Vietnam era. For more information, see Female Veteran Population (Veterans Administration, 1984); and Maria L. Roca, "Women veterans total 1 million in first half of 1986," Monthly Labor Review, December 1986, pp. 30-31.
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Labor Force Statistics from the Current Population Survey
Related Monthly Labor Review articles
Vietnam-era cohort: employment and earnings.—June 1992.
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