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Disabled veterans and the labor force

August 05, 2004

In August 2003, about 2.2 million veterans, or 9 percent of all veterans, reported having a service-connected disability.

Percent of employed disabled veterans, nondisabled veterans, and nonveterans working in government (federal, state, and local combined), August 2003
[Chart data—TXT]

Only one-third of the disabled veterans of World War II, the Korean War, and the Vietnam era were in the labor force in August 2003. This low rate of labor force participation reflects the age of this group (80 percent were 55 years or older) as well as the effect of their disabilities. Among veterans of these periods who did not have a service-connected disability, 46 percent were in the labor force.

Among veterans of other service periods with a disability, 75 percent were in the labor force, essentially the same as the proportion for nondisabled veterans from these periods.

About 16 percent of employed disabled veterans worked for the federal government. This compares with 6 percent of nondisabled veterans and 2 percent of nonveterans. Nearly 30 percent of disabled veterans were employed in federal, state, and local government combined, compared with 17 percent of nondisabled veterans and 14 percent of nonveterans.

The Current Population Survey is the source of these data. To learn more, see Employment Situation of Veterans: August 2003 (PDF) (TXT), USDL 04-1378. The survey of veterans was conducted for the Bureau of Labor Statistics by the U.S. Census Bureau as a special supplement to the August 2003 Current Population Survey. The 2003 supplement was co-sponsored by the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs and the U.S. Department of Labor's Veterans Employment and Training Service. These supplements have been conducted every two years since 1985.


Bureau of Labor Statistics, U.S. Department of Labor, The Economics Daily, Disabled veterans and the labor force at (visited May 19, 2024).

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