March 2019 DOL VETS and VSO Meeting

The monthly meeting between the U.S. Department of Labor Veterans’ Employment and Training Service (DOL VETS) and personnel and leaders from Veterans Service Organizations (VSOs) around the country was held at the DOL Headquarters in Washington D.C. on March 22, 2019.
The meeting highlighted two key reports—one from the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) and one from the Institute for Veterans and Military Families (IVMF). BLS presented the Employment Situations of Veterans for 2018. Some key highlights from the report are:

  • The unemployment rate for female veterans declined to 3.0 percent in 2018, and the rate for male veterans (3.5 percent) changed little over the year. The unemployment rate for male veterans was not statistically different from the rate for female veterans.
  • Among the 326,000 unemployed veterans in 2018, 54 percent were age 25 to 54, 40 percent were age 55 and over, and 6 percent were age 18 to 24.
  • Veterans with a service-connected disability had an unemployment rate of 5.2 percent in August 2018, higher than the rate for veterans with no disability (3.5 percent).
  • About 1 in 3 employed veterans with a service-connected disability worked in the public sector in August 2018, compared with about 1 in 5 veterans with no disability.
  • In 2018, the unemployment rate of veterans varied across the country, ranging from 1.4 percent in Iowa to 6.5 percent in the District of Columbia.

Find the report, along with other data, at this link
The discussion then turned to the IVMF report on Enhancing Veterans’ Access to STEM Education and Careers: A Labor Market Analysis of Veterans in the STEM Workforce. Some key highlights from this report were:

  • Overall Participation in STEM: The majority of those in the labor force are not in STEM occupations (6% compared to 94%). Veterans, however, represent a larger proportion in STEM occupations compared to nonveterans (8% compared to 6%).
  • Veteran Participation in STEM fields: Veterans are 1.47 times more likely to be in a STEM occupation compared to nonveterans.
  • Veteran Trends in STEM fields: Veterans entered into STEM occupations at an increasing annual rate of 0.232 percentage points between 2012 and 2016.
  • Largest Region Concentration of STEM workforce: The South Atlantic region (District of Columbia, Delaware, West Virginia, South Carolina, Maryland, Virginia, Georgia, North Carolina, and Florida) exhibited the largest concentration of veterans in the STEM workforce.
  • Top STEM Clusters for Veterans: The top two STEM occupation clusters for veterans were the information technology and computer science cluster (43%), followed by the engineering STEM cluster (38%).
  • STEM Occupations with Growing Veteran Participation: Of the 49 STEM occupations, nearly half (19) exhibited a positive trend of increased veteran participation from 2012 to 2016. Information Security Analysts occupation exhibits the highest odds ratio; veterans are 2.64 times more likely to be in the Information Security Analysts occupation compared to non-veterans. The Information Security Analysts has a positive yearly increase of 0.17 percentage points a year.
  • Top States for STEM Earnings Growth: Thirty-six (36) of the 51 states (including District of Columbia) exhibited positive trends in the average total annual personal income for veteran STEM workers (in nominal dollars) from 2012 to 2016. The states with the highest positive growth were North Dakota, Connecticut, Wisconsin, Maine, West Virginia, Rhode Island, Nevada, Oklahoma, Tennessee, and South Carolina.
  • Veteran Earnings in STEM Careers: On average, veterans in STEM occupations earn slightly over 8 percent more than their nonveteran peers ($93,833 compared to $86,676, respectively). Veterans in STEM occupations also tend to out-earn, at even higher rates, both their veteran and non-veteran counterparts in non-STEM fields.
  • Veteran Unemployment in STEM fields: Veterans in STEM fields tend to experience lower overall unemployment than those in other occupations, although unemployment was slightly higher for veterans in STEM compared to nonveterans in STEM.

Find the report, along with other data, at this link
The meeting ended with a brief discussion on events and resources from various VSOs:

As always, visit and for more employment, transition, and training resources and news.