||Veterans struggle to enter the civilian labor market following military service. Since
the September 11 terrorist attacks, over 3.2 million Americans have served in the
military. Upon returning home, these veterans are twenty percent more likely to be
unemployed than nonveterans (7.2% vs 6%, respectively).
This study investigates the association between military service and employment outcomes
(employment status and weekly earnings) for post-9/11 veterans, a heretofore understudied
group. Data was obtained from the Current Population Survey (CPS) Veteran Supplement.
Linear probability models and OLS regressions were utilized to compare employment
outcomes between veterans and nonveterans of similar age, education and race/ethnicity
(“veteran effect”). Findings suggest that the veteran effect on employment is negative
while the veteran effect on earnings, given employment, is positive. This is likely
because of selection bias; the most productive veterans find employment and therefore
command higher wages. Veteran effects differ by race and ethnicity, length of military
service and time since service. Policymakers should tailor transition programs to
the most vulnerable veterans, such as long-term military personnel.