Vets unemployment continued rise in December

WASHINGTON – The percentage of veterans looking for work continued to rise in December, with younger veterans faring the worst, according to the latest figures released Friday from the Bureau of Labor Statistics.

The unemployment rate for all veterans reached 7 percent, up from 6.6 percent in November and 6.3 percent in October. The last time the overall veterans unemployment rate had been at 7 percent or higher was in July 2012.

The unemployment rate for veterans of the Iraq and Afghanistan wars, already higher than the veteran population as a whole, rose by a greater margin to 10.8 percent in December, compared to 10 percent in November.

The overall U.S. unemployment rate in December held steady from the previous month at 7.8 percent.

But compared to December 2011, unemployment for both groups was lower, falling from 7.7 percent for all veterans and 13.1 percent for recent veterans.

The Associated Press reported that U.S. employers added 155,000 jobs in December, a steady gain that shows hiring held up during the tense negotiations to resolve the fiscal cliff.

The solid job growth wasn’t enough to push down the unemployment rate, the Labor Department said Friday.

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