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Economic News Release
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Employment Situation of Veterans Technical Note

Technical Note

   The data in this release were collected through the Current Population Survey
(CPS). The CPS—a monthly survey of about 60,000 eligible households conducted by the
U.S. Census Bureau for the Bureau of Labor Statistics—obtains information on
employment and unemployment among the nation's civilian noninstitutional population
age 16 and over.

   Most of the data in this release are annual averages, compiled from the results
of the monthly survey. In August, a supplement to the CPS collected additional 
information about veterans on topics such as service-connected disability, veterans'
Reserve or National Guard status, and veterans who served in Iraq and/or Afghanistan.
The supplement was co-sponsored by the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs and by 
the U.S. Department of Labor's Veterans' Employment and Training Service. Questions
were asked of persons 17 years of age and older regarding their prior service in the
U.S. Armed Forces. Data are tabulated for persons 18 years of age and older.

   If you are deaf, hard of hearing, or have a speech disability, please dial 7-1-1
to access telecommunications relay services.

Definitions

   The definitions underlying the data in this release are as follows:

   Veterans are men and women who previously served on active duty in the U.S. Armed
Forces and who were civilians at the time they were surveyed. Members of the Reserve
and National Guard are counted as veterans if they had ever been called to active 
duty. Persons who are on active duty at the time of the survey are outside the scope
of the survey and thus not in the estimates shown here, as are persons who reside in
institutions, such as nursing homes and prisons.

   Nonveterans are men and women who never served on active duty in the U.S. Armed
Forces.

   World War II, Korean War, Vietnam-era, and Gulf War-era veterans are men and 
women who served in the U.S. Armed Forces during these periods of service, 
regardless of where in the world they served. Veterans who served in more than one
wartime period are classified in the most recent one.

   Veterans of other service periods are men and women who served in the U.S. Armed
Forces at any time other than World War II, the Korean War, the Vietnam era, or the
Gulf War era. Although U.S. Armed Forces were engaged in several armed conflicts 
during other service periods, these conflicts were more limited in scope and included
a smaller proportion of the Armed Forces than the selected wartime periods. Veterans
who served during one of the selected wartime periods and during another period are
classified in the wartime period.

   Veteran status is obtained from responses to the question, "Did you ever serve on
active duty in the U.S. Armed Forces?"

   Period of service identifies when a veteran served in the Armed Forces, but not 
the location of their service. It is obtained from answers to the question asked of
veterans, "When did you serve on active duty in the U.S. Armed Forces?" The following
service periods are identified:

      Gulf War era II — September 2001-present
      Gulf War era I — August 1990-August 2001
      Vietnam era — August 1964-April 1975
      Korean War — July 1950-January 1955
      World War II — December 1941-December 1946
      Other service periods — All other time periods

   Veterans could have served anywhere in the world during these periods of service.
Veterans are counted only in one period of service, their most recent wartime 
period. Veterans who served in more than one wartime period are classified in the 
most recent one. Veterans who served in both a wartime period and any other service
period are classified in the wartime period. The period-of-service definitions are 
modified occasionally to reflect changes in law, regulations, and program needs of 
the survey sponsors.

   Veterans who served in Iraq, Afghanistan, or both are individuals who served in
Iraq at any time since March 2003, in Afghanistan at any time since October 2001, or
in both locations. Service in Iraq or Afghanistan is determined by answers to two 
questions: "Did you serve in Iraq, off the coast of Iraq, or did you fly missions 
over Iraq at any time since March 2003?" and "Did you serve in Afghanistan, or did 
you fly missions over Afghanistan, at any time since October 2001?"

   Presence of service-connected disability is determined by answers to two questions
beginning in August 2021: "Have you filed a claim for or received a rating from the
Department of Veterans Affairs or the Department of Defense confirming that you have
a service-connected disability; that is, a health condition or impairment caused or
made worse by military service?” and (asked of those who said yes) “Did you receive
a VA disability rating?”  People who applied for and received a service-connected 
disability rating are classified as having a service-connected disability. People 
who applied for but did not receive a service-connected disability rating are 
classified as without a service-connected disability.

   Service-connected disability rating is based on answers to the question, "What
is your current VA service-connected disability rating?" Answers can range from 0 
to 100 percent, in increments of 10 percentage points. Ratings are determined by 
the VA or DoD from a rating schedule published in the Code of Federal Regulations,
Title 38, "Pensions, Bonuses, and Veterans' Relief," Part 4—"Schedule for Rating 
Disabilities." The rating schedule is "primarily a guide in the evaluation of 
disability resulting from all types of diseases and injuries encountered as a result
of or incident to military service. The percentage ratings represent as far as can
practicably be determined the average impairment in earning capacity resulting from
such diseases and injuries and their residual conditions in civil occupations." 
Part 4 contains a listing of hundreds of possible disorders and assigns ratings of
0 through 100 percent, with instructions for rating multiple disorders.

   Reserve and National Guard membership refers only to Gulf War-era veterans who
are current or past members of the Reserve or National Guard. Members of the 
Reserve and National Guard are counted as veterans if they had ever been called to
active duty. These data do not refer to all persons who may have ever served in the
Reserve or National Guard. Beginning in August 2021, Reserve or National Guard 
status is obtained from answers to the question asked of veterans, “Have you ever
been a member of the Reserve or National Guard?” 

Reliability of the estimates

   Statistics based on the CPS are subject to both sampling and nonsampling error.
When a sample, rather than the entire population, is surveyed, there is a chance
that the sample estimates will differ from the true population values they 
represent. The component of this difference that occurs because samples differ by
chance is known as sampling error, and its variability is measured by the standard
error of the estimate. There is about a 90-percent chance, or level of confidence, 
that an estimate based on a sample will differ by no more than 1.6 standard errors 
from the true population value because of sampling error. BLS analyses are generally
conducted at the 90-percent level of confidence.

   The CPS data also are affected by nonsampling error. Nonsampling error can occur
for many reasons, including the failure to sample a segment of the population, the
inability to obtain information for all respondents in the sample, the inability or
unwillingness of respondents to provide correct information, and errors made in the
collection or processing of the data.

   Information about the reliability of national data from the CPS and instructions
on how to generate standard errors are available at 
www.bls.gov/cps/documentation.htm#reliability.

   For a discussion of the reliability of state estimates from the CPS, such as 
those in tables 6A and 6B of this release, see 
www.bls.gov/opub/geographic-profile/home.htm.

Comparability of the estimates

   Effective with data for January 2021, estimates for veterans incorporate 
population controls derived from a new Department of Veterans Affairs Veteran
Population Projection Model (VetPop2018). In accordance with usual practice, BLS 
did not revise estimates for previous years. Information about the Veteran 
Population Projection Model is available from the Department of Veterans Affairs at
www.va.gov/vetdata/docs/Demographics/New_Vetpop_Model/VP_18_A_Brief_Description.pdf.



Last Modified Date: April 21, 2022