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New Report from DOL: Women Veteran Economic and Employment Characteristics

March 8, 2016

The Department of Labor has released Women Veteran Economic and Employment Characteristics. This report profiles the demographic and employment characteristics of women veterans and compares these characteristics to those of male veterans, women non-veterans, and male nonveterans.

  • Veterans are predominantly White. A higher percentage of women veterans are AfricanAmerican (19 percent)relative to the women non-veteran population (12 percent) while a lower percentage are of Asian descent (1 percent) or members of other races (5 percent). A lower percentage of women veterans are of Hispanic origin (7 percent) compared to women non-veterans (14 percent).
  • Women veterans are more educated than their male counterparts. Some 46 percent of women veterans have Associates Degree, Bachelor’s Degree or higher compared to 34 percent of male veterans who have Associates Degree, Bachelor’s Degree or higher.
  • Women veterans are also more likely to have reported some type of disability (20 percent) than women non-veterans (16 percent), but less likely than male veterans (28 percent).
  • The proportion of women veterans that are employed (61 percent) is not significantly different from that of women non-veterans (59 percent) and male veterans (63 percent). Women veterans are less likely to be self-employed (4 percent) compared to male veterans (6 percent) and male non-veterans (9 percent).
  • Similar to women non-veterans, the primary reason women veterans give for not being in the labor force is to take care of their home or family (37 percent). The second most common reason for women veterans is being ill or having a disability (27 percent), while the second most frequent reason for women non-veterans is going to school (22 percent).
  • Women veterans, with a median annual wage of $36,900, have higher earnings than women non-veterans, at $27,300. While some of these differences in earnings may be attributable to higher wage rates, it is important to note that women veterans worked more hours per week and more weeks per year, on average, than their non-veteran contemporaries.

The American Community Survey (ACS) Public Use Microdata Sample, the March Current Population Survey (CPS) Annual Social and Economic Supplement (ASEC), and the August CPS Veterans Supplement were used for this report. The data and methodology used for this study parallel other data descriptions of women veterans conducted by the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) and other entities, but there are some differences in the data sources and the samples selected from the data that were required for the study methodology. The profile on women veterans presented in this report is descriptive only and causal analysis would be needed to explain factors that underlie the labor market outcomes of women veterans.

To view the report, click here.

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