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Unemployment rate for Gulf War II-era veterans with a service-connected disability up in 2023

March 29, 2024

In August 2023, 46 percent (2.4 million) of veterans who served during the Gulf War II-era reported a service-connected disability. The unemployment rate for these veterans rose by 3.0 percentage points from a year earlier to 6.4 percent in August 2023. The unemployment rate for Gulf War II-era veterans with no service-connected disability increased by 2.1 percentage points to 4.0 percent.

Unemployment rates for Gulf War II-era veterans, by presence and degree of service-connected disability, August 2011 to August 2023
Month Total, 18 years and over With a service-connected disability Less than 30 percent disability rating Gulf War II-era veterans, 30 to 50 percent disability rating 60 percent or higher disability rating Without a service-connected disability

Aug 2011

9.8 12.1 12.6 10.4 14.4 9.5

Aug 2012

10.9 8.0 5.6 8.4 9.2 12.5

Aug 2013

10.0 8.6 10.8 5.7 11.6 11.1

Aug 2014

8.1 9.1 10.7 5.2 11.4 7.8

Aug 2015

5.0 5.5 3.0 1.9 8.6 4.8

Aug 2016

5.4 5.4 4.0 3.5 5.4 5.7

Aug 2017

4.5 3.9 2.1 1.5 6.3 4.8

Aug 2018

4.3 5.3 1.8 7.4 6.2 3.3

Aug 2019

4.7 5.5 2.3 1.7 9.4 4.4

Aug 2020

8.4 8.2 5.8 5.4 11.8 8.8

Aug 2021

3.2 3.2 4.9 1.9 3.7 3.6

Aug 2022

2.3 3.4 7.4 3.4 2.6 1.9

Aug 2023

4.8 6.4 4.7 5.9 6.9 4.0

Note: Beginning in August 2015, estimates from the veterans supplement reflect a change in the weighting methodology.

Among Gulf War II-era veterans with a service-connected disability, 65 percent reported a disability rating of 60 percent or higher in August 2023. For these veterans, the unemployment rate rose by 4.3 percentage points from a year earlier to 6.9 percent in August 2023. This rate was not statistically different than the rate of 4.7 percent for those with a service-connected disability rating of less than 30 percent, which changed little from a year earlier.

Among Gulf War II-era veterans, those with a service-connected disability continued to have a lower labor force participation rate (73.0 percent) in August 2023 than did those with no service-connected disability (86.8 percent).

Labor force participation rate of Gulf War II-era veterans, by presence and degree of service-connected disability, August 2011 to August 2023
Month  Total, 18 years and over  With a service-connected disability  Less than 30 percent disability rating  30 to 50 percent disability rating  60 percent or higher disability rating Without a service-connected disability

Aug 2011

81.5 80.0 87.1 92.2 57.8 83.7

Aug 2012

81.0 70.3 83.9 80.4 51.3 87.0

Aug 2013

78.5 70.5 88.7 69.4 53.9 85.4

Aug 2014

78.8 75.1 81.6 85.3 67.1 85.6

Aug 2015

82.0 73.2 77.1 91.1 62.3 87.3

Aug 2016

82.6 76.0 87.6 86.6 63.4 86.6

Aug 2017

80.7 75.8 91.6 86.9 61.7 85.5

Aug 2018

81.1 73.5 88.6 82.5 62.3 85.8

Aug 2019

79.8 72.7 92.2 84.7 61.2 84.8

Aug 2020

81.5 73.8 91.5 86.5 63.6 87.7

Aug 2021

79.2 72.9 94.4 82.5 63.8 84.3

Aug 2022

80.2 74.3 94.8 79.8 65.9 86.3

Aug 2023

79.8 73.0 83.0 85.1 67.9 86.8

Note: Beginning in August 2015, estimates from the veterans supplement reflect a change in the weighting methodology.

Gulf War II-era veterans with a service-connected disability rating of 60 percent or higher had a labor force participation rate of 67.9 percent in August 2023, lower than the rate of 83.0 percent for those with a service-connected disability rating of less than 30 percent.

These data are from the Current Population Survey. For more information, see "Employment Situation of Veterans — 2023." We also have more labor force, employment, and unemployment statistics for veterans. Veterans are men and women who previously served on active duty in the U.S. Armed Forces and were civilians when they were surveyed. People on active duty are not included in the survey. Gulf War II-era veterans served on active duty anywhere in the world at any time since September 2001.

Veterans are assigned a disability rating by the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs or the U.S. Department of Defense. Ratings range from 0 to 100 percent, in increments of 10 percentage points, depending on the severity of the condition.

SUGGESTED CITATION

Bureau of Labor Statistics, U.S. Department of Labor, The Economics Daily, Unemployment rate for Gulf War II-era veterans with a service-connected disability up in 2023 at https://www.bls.gov/opub/ted/2024/unemployment-rate-for-gulf-war-ii-era-veterans-with-a-service-connected-disability-up-in-2023.htm (visited April 15, 2024).

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