Veterans unemployment rates dropped slightly in October even as the national unemployment rate rose.
According to a Bureau of Labor Statistics report released Friday, the jobless rate among all veterans in America fell to 3.0 percent in October from 3.1 percent the prior month. It’s the third consecutive month the unemployment estimate has declined, and puts overall veterans unemployment at its lowest mark since May.
The national unemployment figure went the opposite direction, rising to 3.6 percent in October from 3.5 percent the previous month. Economic experts have blamed the month-long General Motors strike for some of that national increase.
October marked the 18th consecutive month that veterans unemployment has been lower than the national rate.
Younger veterans also saw good news in the monthly jobs report. The unemployment rate among post-9/11 veterans fell to 3.5 percent in October, down from 4.5 percent in September estimates.
That marker had been rising steadily in recent months, raising concerns about difficulties that recently separated service members may be facing in the private-sector job market.
Employment experts have cautioned against focusing too closely on monthly changes in unemployment for sub-groups within the Labor Department’s surveys of American workers, because small changes in sample sizes can produce significant moves in the numbers.
President Donald Trump on Twitter hailed the report as “far greater than expectations.”
The unemployment estimates translate into about 274,000 veterans collecting unemployment benefits last month. About 8.9 million veterans are employed across the country today, and another 9.5 million not participating in the workforce due to injuries or old age.
Leo covers Congress, Veterans Affairs and the White House for Military Times. He has covered Washington, D.C. since 2004, focusing on military personnel and veterans policies. His work has earned numerous honors, including a 2009 Polk award, a 2010 National Headliner Award, the IAVA Leadership in Journalism award and the VFW News Media award.