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Veterans face a number of well-documented problems upon returning home from war, such as post-traumatic stress disorder, difficulty reintegrating into society, alienation on college campuses and trouble landing jobs.

But Indiana has proven to be a good place for veterans coming back from Iraq and Afghanistan, as well as those who served in previous wars. The Hoosier state had the nation's lowest unemployment rate for veterans at just 1.8 percent in 2016, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics. 

“These latest numbers are very exciting, and affirm what we have known for some time — Indiana is leading the way when it comes to the employment of our veterans,” Indiana Department of Veterans Affairs Director James Brown said. “We have wonderful training and transition programs for veterans, and we know from the data that word is getting out.”

America has about 20 million veterans, the U.S. Census Bureau estimates. 

The jobless rate for all veterans in the United States was 4.3 percent last year, and War-on-Terror era vets had a jobless rate of 5.1 percent. About 60 percent of the nation's 453,000 unemployed veterans were 45 years old or older. 

The jobless rate for veterans was 6.7 percent in Illinois last year. It was highest in the District of Columbia, where 7.6 percent of vets are unemployed.

Indiana offers veterans multiple job services at its WorkOne Career Centers, including free vocational training, occupational skills assessments, direct job referrals, resume review and interview preparation.

“In 2016, the Indiana Department of Workforce Development and our WorkOne partners assisted more than 10,000 Hoosier veterans, and more than 1,000 veterans were placed into employment opportunities via DWD veterans services,” Indiana Department of Workforce Development Commissioner Steven Braun said. “Indiana’s workforce development community is committed to assisting those who serve our country by providing veterans with quality service when transitioning from the military to the civilian workforce.”

Any veterans looking to transition to college or careers should visit


Business reporter

Joseph S. Pete is a Lisagor Award-winning business reporter who covers steel, industry, unions, the ports, retail, banking and more. The Indiana University grad has been with The Times since 2013 and blogs about craft beer, culture and the military.