Press Release

New York Fed Releases New Podcast and Research Focused on Veterans in the Labor Force

May 22, 2024

NEW YORK—The Federal Reserve Bank of New York today released the latest episode of its “Bank Notes” podcast, titled “Veterans in the Labor Force.”

In this episode, experts working across the military-connected population discuss the reasons for the labor force participation gap between veterans and nonveterans. A previous Liberty Street Economics blog post from May 2023 found that veterans are 22% more likely to be out of the labor force than comparable nonveterans. This episode also addresses some of the most widely held misperceptions about career paths within the military and the outcomes and experiences of military service. Additionally, experts highlight educational and vocational opportunities unique to veterans and military families.

In conjunction with the release of the podcast episode, the New York Fed also released a Liberty Street Economics blog post on veterans’ experiences in the labor market, focusing on employment, labor force participation, and real earnings. Today’s post builds on a related 2023 blog post about veterans. Similar to that previous New York Fed research, the new research shows that one year later the gaps in employment and labor force participation between veterans and comparable nonveterans still persist, while the employment gap has slightly widened. However, while nonveterans were still outearning veterans in 2021, the new research shows that the veteran real earnings gap has now disappeared.

Key findings from the research include:

  • While the veteran employment gap shrank temporarily after the pandemic recession, it has since reopened and stands at 4.74 percentage points, up from 3.99 in April 2023.
  • The labor force participation gap between veterans and comparable nonveterans has rebounded after shrinking immediately after the pandemic. The gap is now larger in April 2024 than in April 2023 or April 2022. 
  • The real weekly earnings gap between veterans and comparable nonveterans disappeared as of the spring of 2022.

Understanding labor market disparities between veterans and nonveterans is important to studying disparities in the economy overall. For additional resources on the New York Fed’s work related to understanding how macroeconomic trends vary across geographic, demographic, and socioeconomic boundaries, check out our Equitable Growth Indicators, Economic Inequality Research Series, and Economic Inequality & Equitable Growth resources.

Mariah Measey
(347) 978-3071 
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