Editor’s note: This story was updated to correct the month associated with the latest unemployment rate for veterans of all generations.
Unemployment for the latest generation of veterans held steady at 3.9 percent in September, government data show. That is noticeably higher than the 3-percent rate charted for post-9/11 veterans in July, but the overall employment trend remains very good.
Meanwhile, the nation as a whole added 134,000 jobs, as the overall unemployment rate fell to 3.7 percent, the lowest rate charted since 1969, according to data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics.
For post-9/11 vets, September’s 3.9 percent unemployment rate was identical to the rate charted the previous month. Unemployment for this group of vets has dipped lower than that a few times in 2018, hitting 3.3 percent in February, 3.7 percent in June and 3 percent in July — the lowest rate ever recorded for the group.
Experts caution against drawing broad conclusions based on any single month’s unemployment report, especially for veterans, for whom the data is based on a very small sample size, which makes the results prone to dramatic swings. Instead, they advise looking at the larger trend over time.
That trend is clearly positive for post-9/11 vets. While the September unemployment rate doesn’t represent a historic low this year, it would have in almost any other year. Prior to October 2017, unemployment for post-9/11 vets never once dropped below 3.9 percent.
For veterans of all generations, the unemployment rate hit 3.4 percent in September, down from August’s 3.8-percent rate.