Federal Hiring of Veterans Keeps Growing and Vet Unemployment Hits 7-Year Low

Wednesday, April 01, 2015
(graphic: Steve Straehley, AllGov)

Times are good for veterans seeking work, either with the federal government or in general.


The Office of Personnel Management (OPM) has reported that a third of all new hires by federal agencies last year were veterans, a record. Veterans made up 33.2% of new federal workers in fiscal year 2014, up from 31% in fiscal 2013. Both rates were the highest ever, according to OPM.


The increase is a result of the Veterans Employment Initiative, signed by President Barack Obama in 2009 to increase the number of veterans in civil service positions. The effort has involved establishing liaisons at every agency to recruit veterans.


During the George W. Bush administration, the veterans hiring rate barely inched up between fiscal years 2003 and 2007 from 25% to 25.5%.


More good news came out last week from the Bureau of Labor Statistics, which reported the national unemployment rate for ex-service personnel in 2014 dropped to its lowest point in six years.


Last year, the jobless rate for veterans dipped to 5.3%, “representing a decrease of 1.3 percentage points compared to 2013 and the fourth consecutive year of improvement,” Josh Hicks wrote at The Washington Post. The unemployment rate reached an Obama administration high of 10% in January 2011.

-Noel Brinkerhoff


To Learn More:

One-Third of New Hires in the Federal Government Last Year Were Veterans (by Eric Katz, Government Executive)

Veterans Unemployment Rate Drops To Lowest Point Since 2008 (by Josh Hicks, Washington Post)

Recent Veterans more likely to be Employed than Non-Veterans (by Noel Brinkerhoff, AllGov)

Federal Push to Hire Veterans Reduces Jobs Available for Women (by Noel Brinkerhoff, AllGov)


21452 Plankowner US Navy 1 year ago
I am a mechanical/ electrical engineer, a 12-year veteran in US Navy Amphibious Readiness Group Squadron Sailor that work for NAVFAC for over 5 years as contract support and have been rejected multiple times in the hiring process. I claimed Veteran 5-points of which I have not seen any opportunities/ benefit to increase my chances. I see my co worker engineers who are predominantly less qualified which frustrates and disappoint me. My observation is the hiring process need to be FURTHER streamlined to not only allow the hiring managers/ group to interview and select per their personal preferences which may also harbor nepotisms and/ or based on friendship. Standard interview process should begin by asking the prospective employee if he/ she was a veteran and look at the commendations/ awards, at least, in principle - acknowledging the services of dedication, courage, valor, honor, servitude and integrity. Most of the veterans would have substantial in-depth working knowledge to include mission and operational commitment that can not be equaled by any civilian counterpart. Hiring process should also be revamp not only to include the supervisory management level but a sample of the working group demographics to include at a minimum, the working employee of which the position was posted. I recommend that there should be another team of similar group but not where the job requisitions are from that conducts the interview to provide the "CHECKS AND BALANCE" of the primary interviewing group... I shall wait for any process improvement and hopefully... if not me... future deserving veterans get the job for which we all fought for - LITERALLY!!!
Non-veteran 1 year ago
Not sure what alternative reality that person lives in, but at my office, we have approximately 85% Veteran. Senior management has taken pains to ensure that only Veterans are hired and that only Veterans are put into management positions. I know that I will never advance in my current position. I don't even bother applying for jobs anymore, even though I hate my current job and it's giving me extreme anxiety. I wish I'd never gone into federal service but I'm too far in my career to walk away. I have 0% satisfaction in my job as a non-Veteran working for the VA.
Veteran 1 year ago
I'm a veteran and was forced out of my job by the VA all because of corrupt and lackluster management. The VA and upper management in government organizations do not want veterans in their ranks or their management structure. I have been on hiring committee's where the veteran was the most qualified and my score was thrown out so a non-veteran could be hired and a Veterans ByPass letter had to be written. Really, a ByPass letter to exclude a veteran. Are you kidding me. The Madison VA is as corrupt as they come and the IG needs to go and pay them a visit, especially the Rockford VA CBOC.

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