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Women veterans had higher salaries than nonveterans in 2005, but they also worked more hours in a week and more weeks out of the year, according to a new analysis of data from the U.S. Census Bureau.
Women veterans earned $32,217 in 2005, compared with the $27,272 for women civilians with no military experience.
“Veteran status seems to offer an earnings advantage for women; however, female veterans are also more likely to work full-time hours,” says Census Bureau demographer Kelly Holder in the working paper, Exploring the Veteran-Nonveteran Earnings Differential in the 2005 American Community Survey. “Military education and work experience may translate into higher paying civilian jobs than women with a high school degree would normally expect.”
Male veterans also had higher salaries in 2005, averaging $42,128, compared with $39,880 for nonveterans. Holder says that even though the average may be higher, this gap can be deceiving. Unlike their female counterparts, when male veterans and nonveterans with comparable demographic characteristics (age, race, marital status, education) were compared side-by-side, the earnings advantage disappeared, and when male veterans and nonveterans who worked the same number of hours per week and weeks per year were also compared, the male veterans actually earned less than their nonveteran counterparts.
“Male veterans may have less job experience, and thus lower earnings, than similar nonveterans for their age because they enter the civilian labor force later,” Holder says in the report.
The report looked at veterans and nonveterans between ages 25 and 64 in the civilian labor force.
Women veterans were more likely to work 35 or more hours per week (84.3 percent vs. 77.7 percent), to work at least 50 weeks per year (73.1 percent vs. 71.6 percent) and to work in public administration (16 percent vs. 4.8 percent) than nonveterans.
Male veterans were less likely to have a bachelor’s degree (16.3 percent vs. 20.5 percent) and more likely to be divorced (15.2 percent vs. 9.7 percent) than nonveterans.
As part of the Census Bureau’s reengineered 2010 Census, the data collected by the ACS helps federal officials determine where to distribute more than $300 billion to state and local governments each year. Responses to the survey are strictly confidential and protected by law.
The 2005 ACS estimates are based on an annual, nationwide sample of about 250,000 addresses per month and did not include group quarters. For more information go to <http://www.census.gov/acs/www/UseData/index.htm>.