Veteran Jobless Rate Falls to 3.4 Percent in September: Report

Unemployment rate. Getty Images
Unemployment rate. Getty Images

The veterans unemployment rate fell to 3.4 percent in September while the overall jobless rate was at a 49-year low of 3.7 percent, reflecting the economy's continuing strength in its eight-year recovery from the recession, the Bureau of Labor Statistics reported Friday.

The 3.4 percent figure for veterans in September was down from 3.7 percent in August, but up up from the 3.0 percent recorded in September 2017, the bureau said.

For post-9/11 veterans, or what the bureau calls "Gulf War-era II veterans," the unemployment rate in September was 3.9 percent, the same as in September 2017 but well below the double-digit unemployment figures recorded for those vets during the recession.

For male veterans, the unemployment rate was 3.1 percent in September, up from 2.8 percent in September 2017; for women veterans, the unemployment rate in September was 5.3 percent, up from 4.5 percent in September 2017, the bureau said.

The overall unemployment rate of 3.7 percent in September was down from 3.9 percent in August and from 4.1 percent in September 2017. September's figure was the lowest recorded since 1969, the bureau said.

During the presidential campaign, then-candidate Donald Trump questioned the veracity of the Bureau of Labor Statistics' reports showing a downward trend in unemployment but, since taking office, he has touted the figures as evidence that his tax cuts and deregulation are boosting the economy.

The jobs market "has continued to strengthen," the Federal Reserve said in a recent report, "and economic activity has been rising at a strong rate. Job gains have been strong, on average, in recent months, and the unemployment rate has stayed low."

The Federal Reserve has forecast that the economy will grow by 3.1 percent this year, up from the 2.8 percent annual growth it had predicted in June.

In its September report, the Bureau of Labor Statistics said job gains for the month occurred in professional and business services, health care, transportation and warehousing.

-- Richard Sisk can be reached at

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