The Department of Workforce Services has just published an interactive graphic on Utah veterans. Based on 2015 Census Bureau data, it allows researchers (and the simply curious) to “drill down” to veteran profiles at the county level.
The department pays special attention to veterans for a number of reasons. Obviously, the nation is deeply obligated to veterans for their service. Veterans also make up almost 5 percent of Utah’s population and roughly half of veterans are of working age. Veterans have a higher disability proportion than the general public and sometimes have difficulty adapting their military skills to civilian uses. Given the potential for lost productivity, it also makes economic sense for society to concentrate on this population.
As an example of the information available and the potential for insights, this post will focus on Carbon County veterans.
The veteran’s visualization profile has five profile segmentations, each represented by a “tab” above the graphs that one can click on. The first tab is a broad overview of veterans statewide.
The second tab details Carbon County veterans versus Utah veterans as a whole. Carbon County veterans in the 55-64 year-old age group (known as a cohort) participate in the labor force at a much lower rate than veterans in the state as a whole. While a larger part of this discrepancy can be explained by low participation rates in Carbon County as a whole, it is puzzling that county veterans participate less in the labor force than county nonveterans. This differs than the statewide profile; Utah veterans are roughly as likely to be in the labor force as nonveterans.
The third tab shows median income for Carbon County by sex and veteran status. The data for male veterans is consistent (although at a lower income) with the experience of veterans statewide; veterans earn more their nonveteran counterparts. Likewise, female veterans earn more than their nonveteran counterparts but less than male counterparts.
The fourth tab shows veterans by era of service in detail.
The fifth tab shows veterans by educational attainment and veteran’s status. Carbon County veterans have roughly as much post-high school education as nonveterans. However, Carbon County veterans have fewer bachelors degrees than veterans statewide. This is usually a result of the supply of jobs in a particular area. Carbon County veterans have more associates degrees than veterans statewide because of the requirements of the coal industry.