Understanding Unemployment: December’s Report

We closed out an impactful 2018 with some much needed downtime and reflection on the past year. Between four Storm the Hills, our Big 6 Priorities, 5 Congressional Testimonies, 5 flash polls, and one Member Survey, 2018 had huge wins for IAVA’s Advocacy Department. And we closed out the year with family and friends, remembering those that are serving overseas or standing watch this holiday season.

And in the midst of end of year festivities and reflections, the government shutdown, partially. Affecting about 800,00 federal employees, one-third of whom are veterans themselves. There are historic issues to address as we begin 2019, not least of which is the state of veterans across the nation impacted by this latest government shutdown. And in the midst of all of this, last Friday, the Bureau of Labor Statistics released the final Employment Situation Report for 2018, which gives us the unemployment numbers for the nation and veterans for the month of December.

By The Numbers

Yet again, the national unemployment rate remained below 4 percent for the 6th month in a row; this month it rose ever so slightly to 3.9 percent.

The veteran unemployment rate, including all eras of veterans, rose slightly to 3.2 percent, but continues a downward trend we’ve seen over the past few years. The post-9/11 unemployment rate continues to be fairly low at 3.6 percent. Overall, this is a good news story for veterans, as both the veteran unemployment rate and the post-9/11 veteran unemployment rate continues to stay below the national unemployment rate.

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The unemployment rate for women veterans continues to fluctuate. This month, post-9/11 women veterans showed an unemployment rate of 3 percent, showing a continuing fluctuation from the last few months, whereas the male post-9/11 unemployment rate for December stood at 3.7 percent.

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Shifting Into Gear

2019 will be a big year. Our Big 6 Priorities continue to impact the veteran community. Politics and policies in Washington, D.C. will impact veterans nationwide. And we’ll be here for all of it. There’s big things ahead for IAVA and the veteran community in 2019. Stay tuned.

Learn more about IAVA’s Big 6 Priorities and our position on veteran employment here.

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