The unemployment rate for veterans who served on active duty in the U.S. Armed Forces at any time since September 2001—a group referred to as Gulf War-era II veterans—was 12.1 percent in 2011. The jobless rate for all veterans was 8.3 percent. Twenty-six percent of Gulf War-era II veterans reported having a service-connected disability in August 2011, compared with about 14 percent of all veterans.
The unemployment rate of veterans in 2011 (8.3 percent) was not statistically different from the rate in 2010 (8.7 percent). The rate for Gulf War-era II veterans also was little different from a year earlier.
Young male veterans (those ages 18 to 24) who served during Gulf War era II had an unemployment rate of 29.1 percent in 2011, higher than that of young male nonveterans.
Gulf War-era II veterans who served in Iraq, Afghanistan, or both had an unemployment rate of 11.6 percent in August 2011.
Veterans are more likely to be men and older than nonveterans. In part, this reflects the characteristics of veterans who served during World War II, the Korean War, and the Vietnam era. Veterans who served during these wartime periods account for about one-half (10.4 million) of the total veteran population.
In 2011, about 2.4 million of the nation's veterans had served during Gulf War era II. About 17 percent of these veterans were women, compared with 3 percent of veterans from World War II, the Korean War, and the Vietnam era.
These data are from the Current Population Survey, a monthly survey of households that provides information on employment and unemployment in the United States. For more information, see "Employment Situation of Veterans — 2011" (HTML) (PDF), news release USDL-12-0493.
Bureau of Labor Statistics, U.S. Department of Labor, The Economics Daily, Employment Situation of Veterans — 2011 at https://www.bls.gov/opub/ted/2012/ted_20120323.htm (visited December 11, 2023).