With Veterans Day approaching, Congresswoman Carolyn Maloney, the Ranking Democrat on the Congressional Joint Economic Committee, released a fact sheet outlining the economic challenges faced by veterans.
The report shows that American veterans who served after September 11, 2001, experienced a 50 percent drop in their unemployment rate over the past four years, but the youngest among them still struggles with high unemployment, poverty and homelessness.
“I’m proud to represent 18,481 veterans,” said Maloney. “These men and women have sacrificed their family lives, their health, and their peace of mind to defend democracy and keep the nation safe. They have experienced pain and horrors that the rest of us could never imagine. We owe it to these courageous men and women to ensure they have good jobs when they return home and to protect them from poverty and homelessness.”
Post-9/11 veterans were unemployed at an average rate of 6.0 percent over the past year compared with 12.1 percent in December 2011. However, they remain unemployed at slightly higher rates than the entire veteran population (4.7 percent), as well as nonveterans (5.3 percent).
And veterans between the ages of 18 and 24 experienced unemployment at an average rate of 16.2 percent in 2014 – more than twice the rate for older veterans and 3.7 percentage points higher than nonveterans their age. Post-9/11 female veterans have an even higher average unemployment rate than their male counterparts.
The report also showed that more than one in ten veterans, between the ages of 18 and 34, lives in poverty. And young veterans were more than twice as likely to be homeless as their nonveteran counterparts.
In addition, over a quarter of post-9/11 veterans live with a service-related disability.
The report also found that:
- Post-9/11 veterans earned about 11 percent more than their non-veteran counterparts with similar demographic characteristics.
- The unemployment rate for post-9/11 African American veterans was lower than the unemployment rate for nonveteran African Americans in 2014.
- The share of female veterans who served after 9/11 was double the share of females who served before that date.
- About 1.5 million veterans and their dependents have used GI Bill benefits to further their educations, and 30 percent have a bachelor’s degree or higher. Another 45 percent have attended some college or earned an associate’s degree.