WASHINGTON – The unemployment rate for recent military veterans fell sharply in October, though not entirely for positive reasons.
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The rate for those who have served in the armed forces anytime since September 2001 dropped to 3.6 percent, the lowest level in data going back to 2008. While some found jobs, many others stopped looking for work or didn't want to work and so weren't counted as unemployed.
The unemployment rate for less educated workers —those without high school diplomas — also fell sharply to 5.7 percent from 6.5 percent.
All told, the unemployment rate fell in October to 4.1 percent, the lowest in nearly 17 years. But the drop in the rate occurred mostly because many people stopped looking for work. Employers added a solid 261,000 jobs overall.
The data for demographic groups came from a survey of households that is part of the Labor Department's monthly jobs report.
|Unemployment rate by group:|
|(Numbers in percentages)||October 2017||September 2017||October 2016|
|Hispanic or Latino ethnicity**||4.8||5.1||5.7|
|20-24 years old||7.2||7.5||8.4|
|25-54 years old||3.4||3.6||4.1|
|55 and over||3.1||3.2||3.7|
|Veterans of Iraq/Afghanistan*||3.6||4.7||4.7|
|No high school diploma||5.7||6.5||7.4|
|High school graduate||4.3||4.3||5.5|
|Duration of Unemployment:|
|Average length (weeks)||26.0||26.8||27.0|
|Jobless 6 months or more (pct.)||24.8||25.5||25.2|
|*Not seasonally adjusted|
|**Includes all races|
|Source: Labor Department|