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How Are Iraq/Afghanistan-Era Veterans Faring in the Labor Market?

Humensky JL, Jordan N, Stroupe KT, Hynes DM. How Are Iraq/Afghanistan-Era Veterans Faring in the Labor Market? Armed forces and society. 2013 Jan 1; 39(1):158-183.

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This study examines labor market status of Veterans of the Iraq/Afghanistan-era and previous eras, and variations by age and by health status, using the Current Population Survey (CPS) March supplement from 2006 to 2011. Although this observational study does not demonstrate a causal effect of military service on labor market outcomes, the authors find that Iraq/Afghanistan-era service among the youngest Veterans (ages 18-24) was associated with higher earnings and greater odds of being enrolled in school, but also higher odds of unemployment. Military service in previous eras by older Veterans, particularly those in fair or poor health, was associated with higher odds of unemployment and lower earnings than their nonveteran counterparts. Future research should examine the reasons for the higher unemployment rates of the youngest Veterans and should examine whether receipt of services such as health care services, disability benefits, and military reintegration programs are associated with improved labor market outcomes.

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