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Vets unemployment up slightly in November

WASHINGTON – The overall veterans unemployment rate nudged up slightly last month, but this year remains on pace to be the best for job-seeking veterans since 2008, according to new figures released Friday by the Bureau of Labor Statistics.

The rate rose to 6.6 percent in November, up slightly from the 6.3 percent rate in October. But it was still the fourth consecutive month that the veterans unemployment statistic was below 7 percent, the first time that’s happened since late 2008.

For veterans of the Iraq and Afghanistan era, the unemployment rate remained at 10 percent for the second consecutive month. That number has remained stubbornly above the national unemployment rate (which now sits at 7.7 percent) for most of the last four years, a cause for concern among many veterans groups.

Those younger veterans make up about 30 percent of the unemployed veterans nationwide, roughly 210,000 of the 720,000 veterans looking for work, according to bureau statistics. Veterans of the recent wars era represent about 1.9 million of the 10.2 million veterans working nationwide.

The average monthly unemployment rate for veterans in 2012 has hovered near 7 percent, which would be the lowest since 2008. Since then, the annual rate hasn’t dipped below 8 percent. From 2006 to 2008, the monthly rate for veterans only rose above 6 percent once.

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