Economic Opportunities for Veterans

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Understanding Economic Competitiveness in Relation to Their Non-Veteran Counterparts

The Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) has a mission to help Veterans maximize their economic competitiveness and thus, increase the number of economic opportunities for Veterans and their families.

The VA views this as the ability to compete, remain relevant and maintain economic mobility in a changing economy. Economic competitiveness isn’t just about employment; it encompasses overall employment, wealth, independent living, housing, career mobility and educational attainment. VA is proud to work alongside employment experts at the Department of Labor and policy leaders in DoD to ensure we are in alignment with relevant trends and services they offer to transitioning service members and Veterans.

To understand the success of ongoing initiatives and identify possible barriers to Veterans' economic mobility, we focus on baseline data and information that clarifies the landscape of current economic outcomes of Veterans versus non-Veterans. Using the Open Data platform allows VA and our collaborative partnerships to focus on our Nation’s most vulnerable Veteran populations – young enlisted members who lack a college degree or credentialing, barriers to meaningful employment, women veterans and the challenges they face, as well as our homeless Veterans.

Certain groups within the Veteran population must surmount barriers that make it more difficult for them to reach their education and employment goals (Veterans under the age of 35), while some groups lag behind the non-Veteran population in economic outcomes (Veterans over 55). VA is committed to remove as many of these barriers as possible to help Veterans achieve economic mobility.

Median Income - Veterans Vs. Non-Veterans

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Facts:

  • In 2016, 20.9 million men and women were Veterans, or about 9 percent of the civilian non-institutional population age of 18 and older.
  • Women accounted for about ten percent of the Veteran population.
  • 3.9 million Post-9/11 Veterans had served with 18 percent being women.
  • Nearly ¾ quarter all Post-9/11 veterans were between the ages of 25 and 44.
  • The unemployment rate for Post-9/11 male Veterans was 5 percent and 5.6 percent for women in 2016 (Source: BLS Employment Situation of Veterans – 2016).

Education Benefits Utilized by Veterans

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