As we commemorate the 100th anniversary of the end of World War I — at the 11th hour on the 11th day of the 11th month of 1918 — we also want to honor our current veterans.
In honor of Veterans Day, here are our most up-to-date statistics about veterans:
- In October 2018, 19.1 million men and women were veterans, accounting for about 8 percent of the civilian noninstitutional population age 18 and over.
- After reaching 9.9 percent in January 2011, the unemployment rate for veterans was 2.9 percent in October 2018. The peak unemployment rate for nonveterans was 10.4 percent in January 2010; their rate was 3.5 percent in October 2018.
- The unemployment rate for Gulf War-era II veterans—those who served on active duty at any time since September 2001—reached 15.2 percent in January 2011. In October 2018, the unemployment rate for these veterans was 3.1 percent.
- There were 269,000 unemployed veterans in the United States in October 2018. Eighteen percent of them were ages 18 to 34, 39 percent were ages 35 to 54, and 43 percent were 55 years and over.
- In the third quarter of 2018, more veterans worked in government than any other industry; 21 percent of all employed veterans worked in federal, state, or local government. By comparison, 13 percent of employed nonveterans worked in government.
- After government, veterans were most likely to work in manufacturing and in professional and businesses services (about 11 percent each).
Looking for more information on veterans? Check out our page devoted to veterans.
Now, let’s take a look at some data that may help veterans who are looking for work or considering a career change.
Thinking of moving?
In 2017, the unemployment rate for veterans varied across the country, ranging from 1.7 percent in Maine and Vermont to 7.3 percent in Rhode Island.
Editor’s note: Data for this map are available in the table below.
Considering different industries?
There were 7.0 million job openings in September 2018. Here’s how they break down by industry.
Editor’s note: Data for this chart are available in the table below.
Wondering about different jobs?
- Fourteen of the thirty fastest growing occupations are in healthcare fields.
- The Occupational Outlook Handbook can help you find career information on duties, education and training, pay, and outlook for hundreds of occupations. Career Outlook provides articles, interviews, and data of interest, such as the 2017 article “A closer look at veterans in the labor force” and this 2018 comparison of military and civilian work.
- More education may help you to keep a job and increase your earnings. See Unemployment rates and earnings by educational attainment.
Thank you, veterans, for your service. As with our armed forces of the past, your service is the foundation of this great nation.
Want more information? Check out our website at www.bls.gov 24/7 or give our information office a call at (202) 691-5200. We also have regional information offices available to help you. BLS has the data YOU need to make wise decisions.
|Total, 18 years and older||3.7%|
|District of Columbia||6.3|
|Note: Veterans are men and women who served on active duty in the U.S. Armed Forces and were not on active duty at the time of the survey.|
|Professional and business services||1,256,000|
|Health care and social assistance||1,223,000|
|Accommodation and food services||961,000|
|State and local government, excluding education||317,000|
|Transportation, warehousing, and utilities||300,000|
|Finance and insurance||272,000|
|State and local government education||205,000|
|Arts, entertainment, and recreation||87,000|
|Real estate and rental and leasing||84,000|
|Mining and logging||32,000|