Understanding Unemployment: August’s Report

By The Numbers

Gone are the dog days of summer; gone are the summer Fridays and summer vacations. As we close summer 2018, the Bureau of Labor Statistics leaves us with one final bit of good news. For the fourth month in a row, the national unemployment rate remained below 4 percent; this month it is 3.9 percent, with the American economy picking up over 200,000 jobs in the month of August.

The veteran unemployment rate, including all eras of veterans, rose to 3.8 percent, on par with the national average. The post-9/11 unemployment rate also reflected the national and veteran population averages, sitting at 3.9 percent. That’s good news; it means that the post-9/11 generation is on par with the nation for employment. It certainly shows a lot of progress from where we were over four years ago, when the post-9/11 unemployment rate rose to over nine percent and was significantly higher than the national average. Just take a look at the graph below:

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Where Employment Meets Education

It’s probably no surprise to IAVA members that education and employment are tied; after all, education and employment have been two of our top priorities for years. If we look at the statistics from the National Center for Education Statistics, higher levels of education means higher rates of employment. That’s across a decade of data and regardless of gender.

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IAVA members know the importance of education and many have used their earned education benefits through the GI Bill after leaving the service. About two-thirds of IAVA members have either used their GI Bill benefits themselves or transferred their benefit to a dependent, per our latest Member Survey. And 87 percent of IAVA members oppose cuts to the GI Bill.

We know defending the GI Bill is important. It’s an earned benefit and education sets transitioning servicemembers and veterans up for a future of success. So when the Department of Defense announced that they were changing the transferability rules for the Post-9/11 GI Bill, limiting it to only servicemembers who have served between six and 16 years, we couldn’t stay silent. The GI Bill is an earned benefit that should be protected and preserved for all, including the next generation of veterans. Stand with us to defend the GI Bill and sign our petition against this change in the transferability rules here.

#DefendTheGIBill remains one of our top priorities in IAVA’s Big 6 Advocacy Priorities for 2018. Help us take action to continue our mission by signing the petition here.

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