The State of the Job Market for Veterans

Photo by VGstockstudio / Shutterstock.com

There’s never a wrong time to think about what our country provides for those who give the most of themselves. But as Veterans Day approaches, now is the perfect time to take stock of how veterans continue to serve their country — and vice versa.

In 2018, 19.2 million men and women were veterans, according to the latest report from the U.S. Department of Labor. That represents about 8% of the population (outside of institutions) age 18 and over.

Veterans had a 3.5% unemployment rate, lower than the 2018 annual average of 3.9% across the U.S. The report says that, among the 326,000 unemployed veterans in 2018:

  • 54% were age 25 to 54
  • 40% were age 55 and over
  • 6% were age 18 to 24

An increasing share of veterans are women, the BLS report shows. About 10% of all veterans are women, and women account for about 17% of the 4.1 million who have served in the military since September 2001.

Where veterans work

The Labor Department report also highlights a trend of veterans’ continued interest in public service, noting:

“Employed Gulf War-era II veterans were twice as likely to work in the public sector in 2018 as employed nonveterans — 26 percent and 13 percent, respectively.”

The share of veterans working in government, whether federal, state or local, is 21.7%, while 70.4% work in private industries. The remainder work in agriculture jobs or are self-employed, which the federal government counts separately.

The largest sectors for veteran employment are:

  • Manufacturing: 11.7% of veterans
  • Professional and business services: 11.4%
  • Education and health services: 8.4%
  • Retail trade: 8.4%
  • Transportation and utilities: 7.3%
  • Construction: 6.4%

Overall, 39.1% of employed veterans are in “management, professional, and related occupations,” according to the report.

An additional 16.5% are in “sales and office occupations,” and a similar number are in “production, transportation, and material moving occupations,” while an additional 14.2% work in the service industry.

What about the companies that rely most on veterans for their workforce? Some of the largest are tech services and consulting firms. Nearly half (47%) of ManTech’s employees are veterans, according to Monster.com. Veterans make up 37% of the workforce at CACI International Inc., 27% at Booz Allen Hamilton, 23% at PRISM Inc. and 22.5% at Lockheed Martin.

In other industries, 18% of Union Pacific Railroad’s employees and 22% of Schneider National are veterans, according to Monster.com. And Glassdoor reports that 15% of Boeing’s employees are veterans.

Programs that help veterans with jobs

Many of the companies above owe their veteran employment rates to in-house specialized outreach and retention programs. But they’re far from the only programs targeting veterans for jobs. Seemingly everyone from the federal government (Feds Hire Vets) to Walgreens (the HERO Program) offers opportunities specifically for vets.

Here are some others:

  • Power Home Remodeling’s Power Veterans Initiative highlights the company’s own hiring incentives for veterans and military spouses while advocating for and assisting other businesses hiring vets.
  • Southwest Airlines’ Military Skills Translator and Home Depot’s Military Skills Translator both help identify civilian jobs that match military experience.
  • The U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) is dedicated to ensuring that veterans have the work and benefits they deserve. In addition to hiring veterans directly, the department offers many resources, including resume advice and guidance on the federal hiring process.

Other job resources for veterans

While the companies and agencies above tailor job opportunities to veterans, other agencies focus on helping vets find — or create — the jobs they want.

  • Military.com offers extensive free help, including veterans job boards in many industries, guides to transitioning to civilian employment, a military skills translator and career-matching assistance and a job fair search.
  • Hire Heroes USA is a nonprofit that partners with organizations that help veterans and their spouses find employment with mentoring, job boards, and training programs.
  • The VA’s Vocational Rehabilitation and Employment program helps veterans with disabilities find jobs or self-employment and achieve independence in civilian life.
  • The VA’s Veteran Entrepreneur Portal helps vets start and finance a business or franchise and find government contracts.
  • SCORE, a nonprofit that helps small businesses, has a variety of resources to help vet entrepreneurs launch and succeed in business, including online and local workshops and information about funding sources.

Do you know of other valuable resources for vets? Share them on our Facebook page.

How to find cheaper car insurance in minutes

Getting a better deal on car insurance doesn't have to be hard. You can have The Zebra, an insurance comparison site compare quotes in just a few minutes and find you the best rates. Consumers save an average of $368 per year, according to the site, so if you're ready to secure your new rate, get started now.

Read Next
These 12 Reusable Products Save You Money Over and Over
These 12 Reusable Products Save You Money Over and Over

Buy reusable versions of these household items, and you won’t have to spend another dime on them for years.

8 Ways to Snag Extra Savings at Walmart
8 Ways to Snag Extra Savings at Walmart

Are you aware of all these ways to boost your savings in Walmart stores and at Walmart.com?

9 Affordable Ways to Make Your Home Look Expensive
9 Affordable Ways to Make Your Home Look Expensive

These products from Amazon add elegance to your home without the expense.

Homeowners Say These 2 Kitchen Appliance Brands Are Best
Homeowners Say These 2 Kitchen Appliance Brands Are Best

One brand takes five of the top honors, while another ranks highest in three categories.

The 5 States With the Worst Health Care for Retirees
The 5 States With the Worst Health Care for Retirees

All of these states are located in the same region of the nation.

View this page without ads

Help us produce more money-saving articles and videos by subscribing to a membership.

Get Started

Most Popular
This Gas Station Scam Is Victimizing More Drivers
This Gas Station Scam Is Victimizing More Drivers

For the second straight year, a growing number of Americans believe they’ve fallen prey to this scam.

This Is the Most Popular Age for Claiming Social Security
This Is the Most Popular Age for Claiming Social Security

Both men and women are most likely to start receiving Social Security benefits at this age.

7 Ways to Boost Your Credit Score Fast
7 Ways to Boost Your Credit Score Fast

Your financial security might soon depend upon the strength of your credit score.

Could You Give Up These 7 Expenses to Save Thousands of Dollars a Year?
Could You Give Up These 7 Expenses to Save Thousands of Dollars a Year?

You could save more than $30,000 by setting aside these costly expenses for just one year.

6 Things You Should Never Buy at Trader Joe’s
6 Things You Should Never Buy at Trader Joe’s

We love Trader Joe’s for plenty of reasons. But think twice about this handful of products.

Don’t Toss These 7 Household Items — Sell Them
Don’t Toss These 7 Household Items — Sell Them

Here’s how to earn cash as you give new life to these unwanted items.

6 Legal Documents Retirees Need — but Don’t Have
6 Legal Documents Retirees Need — but Don’t Have

Few retirees have these documents that are crucial to their golden years — especially during a pandemic.

19 High-Paying Jobs You Can Get With a 2-Year Degree
19 High-Paying Jobs You Can Get With a 2-Year Degree

These jobs pay more than the typical job in the U.S. — and no bachelor’s degree is required.

7 Unusual Ways to Declutter Your Home
7 Unusual Ways to Declutter Your Home

Tired of possessions weighing you down? Here are seven ways to declutter painlessly and effectively.

The 15 Worst States for Retirees in 2020
The 15 Worst States for Retirees in 2020

Based on dozens of metrics tied to affordability, quality of life and health care, these are not ideal places to spend retirement.

11 Expenses That Quietly Drain Your Wallet
11 Expenses That Quietly Drain Your Wallet

It’s scandalously easy to overspend in these areas of your life.

5 Ways Joe Biden Wants Social Security to Change
5 Ways Joe Biden Wants Social Security to Change

Here’s where Biden — as well as Trump — stands on the future of the Social Security retirement system.

9 Dumb Ways You Are Ruining Your Home Value
9 Dumb Ways You Are Ruining Your Home Value

Homeowners, beware these mistakes that can drive away potential buyers.

3 Ways to Get Microsoft Office for Free
3 Ways to Get Microsoft Office for Free

With a little ingenuity, you can cut Office costs to zero.

10 Deep Discounts Available on Amazon This Friday
10 Deep Discounts Available on Amazon This Friday

These items are all steeply discounted — but the deals won’t last long.

7 Tips for Building an Emergency Stockpile
7 Tips for Building an Emergency Stockpile

A pandemic or natural disaster could leave you reliant on your existing food supply. Is your pantry prepared?

10 Things That Really Are Free on Amazon
10 Things That Really Are Free on Amazon

These freebies are available to anyone — no Prime membership necessary.

21 Things You Should Always Buy at a Dollar Store
21 Things You Should Always Buy at a Dollar Store

Dollar stores have great bargains on both everyday and occasional purchases.

15 Outrageously Overpriced Products — and How to Save on Them
15 Outrageously Overpriced Products — and How to Save on Them

Retailers mark up products by hundreds of times their cost — but you don’t have to pay the premium.

View More Articles

View this page without ads

Help us produce more money-saving articles and videos by subscribing to a membership.

Get Started

Add a Comment

Our Policy: We welcome relevant and respectful comments in order to foster healthy and informative discussions. All other comments may be removed. Comments with links are automatically held for moderation.