March 23, 2009
About 1.7 million veterans have served in the U.S. Armed Forces since September 2001. A large majority of veterans of this era participated in the labor force in 2008, and their unemployment rate was 7.3 percent.
Veterans between the ages of 18 and 24 had an unemployment rate in 2008 of 14.1 percent, nearly double the rate of those ages 25 to 34 (7.3 percent), and almost three times the rate for 35 to 44 year olds (4.9 percent).
In general, these veterans' jobless rates were little different from the rates of nonveterans in the same age group.
The Current Population Survey (CPS) is the source of these data. In the CPS, veterans are defined as men and women who have previously served on active duty in the U.S. Armed Forces and who were civilians at the time they were surveyed. To learn more, see "Employment Situation of Veterans: 2008" (PDF) (HTML) USDL 09-0271.