The annual unemployment rate for the latest generation of veterans in 2015 was the lowest ever recorded, government statistics indicate.
Post 9/11 veterans had an average unemployment rate of 5.8 percent for the year, according to a new Bureau of Labor Statistics report, down significantly from the 7.2 percent posted last year. Not only is the annual rate for 2015 significantly lower than any other annual rate in the group’s history, it’s also lower than all but a few of the pre-2015 monthly unemployment rates, which are volatile and prone to dramatic increases and decreases.
“North Carolina is putting more veterans to work thanks to a rebounding economy and strong job growth across the state,” said Governor Pat McCrory.
The governor’s office says the unemployment rate for veterans in North Carolina has fallen more than 3 percent in two years. In 2013, it was 6.2 percent. That number dropped to 3.1 percent in 2015 according to a recent Labor Department report. That’s two percentage points better than the national average.
McCrory credits emphasis on connecting transitioning military personnel with businesses and state government agencies.
“I understand that veterans are highly trained, highly disciplined and know how to get the job done,” said McCrory. “This is great news for our state and is a testament to our efforts to make North Carolina the most military and veteran friendly state in the nation.”
One of the programs that has significantly contributed to veteran employment is the North Carolina for Military Employment initiative. “Employers are recognizing the valuable skill-sets and expertise veterans have to offer,” said Neal Alexander, director of the Office of State Human Resources. “Transitioning military personnel have the knowledge, skills, and abilities that employers are looking for… including state government.” Since 2013, the state has added more than 260,000 private sector jobs and is currently ranked 6th in the nation in job creation.
Veteran employment experts have attributed the employment gains to an improving economy. They agree there has been a combined intense focus on the issue from public and private sectors alike. Still, they emphasized that there is work left to do.
“That doesn’t mean it’s time for a victory lap or anything like that,” said Ryan Gallucci, Veterans of Foreign Wars deputy director for national veterans’ service.
The unemployment rate for post-9/11 veterans has been on a wild ride since the Bureau of Labor Statistics began to track it in September 2008