(USDA Economic Research Service graphic)

The unemployment rate for young rural veterans has dropped steadily since a peak in 2009, but it remains higher than the overall jobless rate for veterans who live in rural America and the rural population in general.

A USDA Economic Research Service brief, released for Veterans Day, said young ex-military have a tougher time finding work because of a combination of factors.

“Young veterans often face high unemployment due to service-related disabilities and a lack of civilian work experience, which is a greater obstacle when the economy is weak,” the ERS brief stated.

The 2015 unemployment rate for young rural veterans was 7.9 percent. At its peak in 2009, the rate was nearly double that – 15.7 percent.

While young rural veterans have an above-average unemployment rate, veterans in general tend to have a lower unemployment rate. In 2015, 5 percent of rural veterans of all working ages were unemployed, compared to a rate of 6.5 for the rural population in general.

Unemployment peaked in 2010 for both nonmilitary and veteran workers in rural America and has dropped steadily since.

The improving economy helped lower the unemployment rate, of course. But the report also credited private and public programs that have raised employers’ awareness of the skills that veterans pick up in the service.

The veterans’ employment programs promoted “greater recognition of the skills veterans learn during their service—such as discipline and timeliness—and the value of those skills in the workplace,” the report said.

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