Filling Ranks: Half a Million Veterans Re-Entered Work Force in January 2022

by Matthew Memrick

While the unemployment rate for veterans jumped in January, the number of vets finding jobs did as well.

Last month’s surge of veterans getting jobs also figured into the nationwide trend of more Americans finding work. 

The Military Times reported on the new numbers after the federal government announced the latest jobs report on Friday.

Hard-Working Veteran Stats Don’t Lie

According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, veterans obtaining full-time employment increased by more than 430,000 workers.

That report also showed the unemployment rate inching from 3.2 in December to 3.8 percent in January. That number was roughly 70,000 over a month.

But, overall, 8.9 million vets sought full-time work, which increased more than 500,000 in the final month of 2021.

Which vets started collecting paychecks? Most of the numbers centered on Iraq and Afghanistan war veterans. The stats confirmed that about 200,000 young vets sought work in January than the previous month. The Military Times noted that propelled the group’s labor participation rate to almost 80 percent.

The national unemployment rate stands now at 4.0 percent while the number of America’s unemployed workers continues to hover around 6.5 million people. 

The federal government touted the 467,000 number as coronavirus cases continue to surge.

President Joe Biden applauded the job creation numbers and said, “America is back to work” in a Friday address from the White House.

Veterans usually do fare better than civilians regarding the nation’s unemployment estimates. For 60 straight months, veteran numbers are lower than the national rate.

Veterans Rates in 2020 Were High

Last year’s veteran unemployment rate was 7.3 percent. Business West broke down the numbers further. Of the 581,000 vets in that group, 54 percent were in the 25-54 age group. The next group, ages 55 and up, consisted of 41 percent. Finally, five percent consisted of people ages 18 to 24.

According to one website, CNBC broke down the best places for veterans to work in 2020. Smart Asset said South Dakota topped the list, followed by Wyoming, North Dakota, West Virginia, and Maine rounded out the top five. 

SmartAsset spokesperson Kara Gibson told CNBC Make It that “states with smaller populations rank as better places for veterans to live and work.” 

Other significant factors include access to Veteran Administration facilities and benefits, the high number of veteran-owned businesses, and states that do not tax military pensions.  

South Dakota topped the list based on those factors. There are 21.04 VA health facilities per 100,000 (the state’s population is 886,667). Plus, the Mount Rushmore state doesn’t tax military pensions. 

To see that 2020 list, go here.

Lawmakers have worked to help veterans with enhanced job programs in recent years. These programs work to transition service members and veterans returning to civilian life