Local Look blogs: Valuing our Veterans

Local Look Blog

Each month, DEED's Regional Analysis & Outreach unit produces a series of blogs exploring local labor market information. Please contact your regional analyst for more information. 

From individual employment counseling, to assistance in all stages of job search, to direct referrals for job openings, to job training for disabled veterans, to helping convert military training to civilian credentials, DEED offers a wide variety of specialized employment and training services to veterans. This month's Local Look blogs explore veteran-related data across the state. 

Central Minnesota: Serving in the military offers an experience like no other. Aside from the opportunity to work with incredibly dedicated people in locations most will never see, military service builds a unique range of skills that can help veterans find success after service. The skills our men and women in uniform gain range from self-discipline and teamwork, better known as soft skills, to advanced technical skills. Both types of skills are in high demand and valuable to employers. 

Twin Cities Metro: The labor market has shifted, rolled, and changed dramatically within the past six years. For veterans looking for work, this has meant a lot of challenges and opportunities, which are reflected in the numbers. In 2010, the unemployment rate for veterans in the Minneapolis-St. Paul Metropolitan Statistical Area (MSA) spiked at 10.2%. This was higher than the overall rate for nonveterans during that time, at 8.4%. As of 2016, however, the unemployment rate for veterans in the Twin Cities had plunged to 2.7%, whereas the overall rate for nonveterans was 3.5%.

Northeast Minnesota: Many veterans have come back and contributed to the local economy. The ongoing rebound of the economy from the 2008-2009 recession has provided better employment outcomes for veterans in the past couple years. In Minnesota, the unemployment rate for veterans dropped to 4.0% in 2016. This was about 5 percentage points less than it was during 2009 and 2010, during the peak of the recession. 

Northwest Minnesota: An aging population with changes in income can often be more vulnerable to poverty. However, veterans and their support networks appear to be managing the transition well. Only 5.2% of Minnesota veterans had income below the poverty level in 2016, four percent less than the general population. Any number of Minnesota veterans living in poverty is too many, but public and private support services for health care, education, and employment are addressing these challenges.

Southeast Minnesota: Southeast Minnesota was home to just over 34,000 veterans, with Olmsted, Rice, and Goodhue counties being home to the highest number of vets. While many of these veterans are aging out of the labor force, others find themselves head-to-head with employment-related roadblocks that may have a negative impact on their work opportunities. 

Southwest Minnesota: The military has a proven track record of producing successful entrepreneurs. Veterans often hone their skills in leadership and problem-solving, traits that are critical to running a business. With more than 4,700 veteran-owned firms, Southwest Minnesota had a higher concentration of these "vetrepreneurs" than the rest of the state and nation.