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‘Understanding the Economic Impacts of COVID-19 on Veterans and Military Families’
Nicholas Armstrong, senior director for research and analytics at the Institute for Veterans and Military Affairs and adjunct faculty member in the Maxwell School, wrote an op-ed for Military Times titled “Understanding the economic impacts of COVID-19 on veterans and military families.” Armstrong has an extensive background in externally sponsored social and policy research related to veterans and military families.
Before COVID-19, the national veteran unemployment rate stood at 3.5 percent. Then the pandemic hit, greatly impacting veterans by raising the unemployment rate to 6.4 percent. Armstrong says that while the current veteran unemployment rate is lower than the nonveteran employment rate, specific veteran groups have been impacted more significantly than others, including post-9/11 veterans, younger veterans and Black veterans.
While COVID-19 has greatly affected veterans economically, Armstrong also discusses the pandemic’s impact on veteran mental health. Roughly 54 percent of female veterans and 31 percent of male veterans reported needing mental health support during the pandemic, says Armstrong.
Armstrong says to best support veterans during this time American communities must commit to helping them regain meaningful employment. “The VA alone cannot support the whole economic health of veterans and their families,” writes Armstrong.