WASHINGTON — U.S. Secretary of Labor Thomas E. Perez today issued the following statement regarding the release of the 2014 Employment Situation of Veterans report by the department's Bureau of Labor Statistics:
"In 2014, the hiring of our nation's heroes rose with an economic tide that consistently strengthened our nation's labor market throughout the year. With more and more of our veterans — some of our bravest, toughest, hardest-working men and women — finding work and adding to the success of American businesses, it contributes to a growing national economy based on shared prosperity. It is the fourth year in a row of steadily declining joblessness for veterans, with today's veterans' employment report for 2014 from the Bureau of Labor Statistics showing a drop in overall veterans' unemployment to 5.3 percent.
"Veterans who have served since Sept. 11, 2001, are also making encouraging gains in the job market. From a calamitous post-recession peak of 12 percent in 2011, the unemployment rate for these veterans dropped to 7.2 percent last year. Employers continue to recognize that these veterans are strong, skilled, dedicated workers.
"We should continue to remember that unemployed veterans come from all age groups and eras of military service, and these groups have distinct needs. Unemployment among women veterans in the Gulf War-era II, for example, was 8.5 percent in 2014, but we must do more to support them by passing family-friendly workplace policies like paid leave.
"Promoting opportunity for veterans is part of nearly everything we do at the Labor Department, from providing priority services for veterans through more than 2,500 American Job Centers across the country to encouraging companies that do business with the federal government to focus on hiring more veterans, protecting disability employment rights and enforcing wage and hour laws. It is an integrated system that has enormous reach into American communities. Even as we celebrate the good news in this report, we will continue to deploy this system with every ounce of urgency to make sure all veterans have the opportunity to secure a job that helps them support their families."