Understanding Unemployment: October’s Report

October’s Numbers

We have nothing but good news in October’s “Employment Situation” report, released by the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) today. Unemployment is down across the board; the the post-9/11 unemployment number has hit an all-time low!

Overall, the American unemployment rate declined to 4.1 percent from 4.2 percent last month. Veteran unemployment is at 2.7 percent and post-9/11 veterans declined from 3.9 percent in September to 3.6 percent in October; that is the lowest unemployment rate for post-9/11 veterans since we’ve been tracking the number. Post-9/11 women veterans have an unemployment rate of 3.3 percent, which is more than a 50 percent decrease from last month’s unemployment rate of 6.9 percent (check back on our August blog to see why this big change happens). Post-9/11 male veterans have an unemployment rate of 3.7 percent, which is up from 2.8 percent last month, but still below the national average.

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In case you missed it, last week, IAVA launched our 2017 Member Survey (you can watch the Facebook live event here). As in years past, we asked our members about their employment status and found that six percent were unemployed and looking for work. While that number is higher than the national unemployment rate reported by BLS, it is the lowest unemployment rate we have seen in IAVA’s membership. In addition, 57 percent are working full time or are self-employed, while five percent work part time and an additional five percent are active-duty service members. Overall, sixty-five percent of our members are satisfied with their jobs.

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All of this tells us that things are looking bright for the post-9/11 generation in the employment arena. While employment and jobs continue to rank third in the top three most important issues impacting the post-9/11 generation, our Member Survey shows that unemployment levels are down from ten percent in 2013 to the lowest in our survey’s history. Job satisfaction is above 60 percent, and nationally the trend lines show unemployment numbers continuing to fall. Our 2017 Member Survey and October’s BLS report reminds us that while there is still work to be done, we are trending in the right direction.

IAVA’s 2017 Member Survey covers topics from Women Veterans to Political Engagement to Employment. You can check out all of the latest survey results here.

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