It’s a distinction that New Jersey can well do without: In 2013, veterans across the state had an unemployment rate of 10.8 percent — the highest in the country, according to data released last week by the U.S. Department of Labor.
New Jersey’s 10.8 percent veterans’ unemployment rate is a significant increase from 2012’s rate of 10 percent and far higher than the national rate of 6.6 percent. It is also much higher than New Jersey’s 2013 unemployment rate for non-veterans (7.8 percent).
“New Jersey is in the unenviable position of adding another ‘first in the nation’ milestone,” said Gordon MacInnes, president of New Jersey Policy Perspective. “First in foreclosures, first in its percentage of jobless out of work for more than six months, and, now, first in the rate of unemployed veterans.”
Unemployment among veterans in New Jersey is much higher than in neighboring states like Pennsylvania (7.7 percent) and New York (8.2 percent). The lowest rates were in Delaware, Iowa, North Dakota, Vermont, and Virginia, which were all below 4 percent.