November 11, 2013

Most-recent veterans say military prepared them for civilian work


Share of post-9/11 veterans who say their military experience was relevant to their civilian job.

The newest cohort of veterans — those who served in the U.S. armed forces since September 2001 — see considerably more connection between their military and civilian careers than earlier generations.

About three-in-five (60.6%) of post-9/11 veterans said their military experience applied “a lot” or “some” to their most recent civilian job, compared with 41.1% of all veterans, according to a 2010 survey conducted for the Department of Veterans Affairs.


The same survey found that post-9/11 veterans were more likely to say they felt “well” or “very well” prepared to enter the civilian job market when they left the service, versus 40.5% of all veterans. However, only about a third (34.1%) of veterans aged 18 to 30 said they felt well- or very well-prepared.

Of the 21.23 million living U.S. veterans in 2012, about 2.75 million (12.9%) served at some point after September 2001, according to Census Bureau estimates. The unemployment rate among those veterans was 10% last month, versus 7% for the entire civilian noninstitutional population, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics.

The largest subgroup of veterans remains those who served during the Vietnam War: more than 7 million, accounting for nearly a third of all veterans. According to the VA survey, about 40% of Vietnam-era veterans felt their military skills applied to their most recent civilian jobs, about as many as said they felt well- or very well-prepared to enter the civilian job market.

Category: Daily Number

Topics: Military and Veterans

  1. Photo of Drew DeSilver

    is a senior writer at Pew Research Center.

1 Comment

  1. Duncan Kinder4 years ago

    Define “civilian employment.”

    To what extent does that entail such occupations as police, prisons, and other security related fields and to what extent does it entail, say, selling insurance?