An Improving Economy Bodes Well for Veteran Employment

Photo by Aaron Burden on Unsplash 

The following post was written and/or published as a collaboration between Benzinga’s in-house sponsored content team and a financial partner of Benzinga.

With the pandemic easing in the U.S., the economy seems to be moving in the right direction. And  while job numbers as a whole are also improving, it’s especially gratifying to see the encouraging  employment data for a vital but sometimes overlooked segment of our workforce— veterans. As of  May 2021, the unemployment rate for U.S. Armed Forces veterans was down to 4.4%, from 5.3% in  April, according to the U.S. Department of Labor (1). Comparatively, the May unemployment rate for  nonveterans was also down, but it remains more than a full percentage point higher than the  veteran unemployment rate, at 5.8%.  

Of course, veterans were not immune to the effects of COVID-19 on the economy. Anything but. A  news release entitled the Employment Situation of Veterans (2) from the U.S. Bureau of Labor  Statistics confirms that 2020 unemployment rates for both male and female veterans increased  during the pandemic to 6.5% and 6.7% respectively. 

Fortunately, for veterans who are unemployed or are looking for better jobs, the coming months  offer encouraging signs as the job market continues to rebound. In fact, many companies are now  having trouble filling open positions, and the dearth of talent is often cited by companies as an  obstacle to growth. One tactic they might consider is tapping the potential of veterans.  

Some companies are doing just that, and a few are even hiring veterans as part of a corporate  priority. A few of these companies include household names such as Capital One Financial Corp. COF, Home Depot Inc. HD and AT&T Inc. T, and these are the top 10  holdings:  

Ticker 

Company Name 

Weight

AMZN 

Amazon.com, Inc. 

2.13

CDW 

CDW Corp. 

2.02

ACN 

Accenture Plc Class A 

2.01

MRK 

Merck & Co., Inc. 

1.97

ETN 

Eaton Corp. Plc 

1.96

MMC 

Marsh & McLennan Companies, Inc. 

1.95

HUM 

Humana Inc. 

1.94

BAH 

Booz Allen Hamilton Holding Corporation Class A 

1.93

PCG 

PG&E Corporation 

1.93

DVA 

DaVita Inc. 

1.93


Holdings are as of 6/30/2021 and subject to change without notice

Helping our veterans seems like the right thing to do, and it even makes good business sense  given the values, diversity, and experience that veterans can offer corporate employers. For those  investors who think that’s a good idea—both on principle and for its business savvy— there is a  way to allocate to companies with some of the best hiring practices and programs for veterans.  The VictoryShares Top Veteran Employers ETF (VTRN), which tracks the Veterans Select Index,  is an exchange-traded fund that provides an opportunity to invest in companies that are  proactively recruiting, employing and developing veteran talent in the workplace. The proprietary  Veterans Select Index “measures the performance of publicly traded companies that support U.S.  military veterans through employment.” In addition to hiring practices, this index also takes into  account various aspects of the overall company environment toward veterans, including culture,  policies, and accommodations toward veterans and their families.  

(1): https://www.dol.gov/agencies/vets/latest-numbers 

(2): https://www.bls.gov/news.release/vet.nr0.htm 

Carefully consider a fund's investment objectives, risks, charges and expenses before  investing. To obtain a prospectus or summary prospectus containing this and other  important information, visit www.vcm.com/prospectus. Read it carefully before investing.  

All investing involves risk, including the potential loss of principal. The Fund has the same risks as the underlying  securities traded on the exchange throughout the day. Redemptions are limited, and commissions are often charged  on each trade. ETFs may trade at a premium or discount to their net asset value. The Fund invests in securities  included in, or representative of securities included in, the Index, regardless of their investment merits. The  performance of the Fund may diverge from that of the Index. International investments may involve risk of capital loss  from unfavorable fluctuation in currency values, from differences in generally accepted accounting principles or from  economic or political instability in other nations. Investments concentrated in an industry or group of industries may  face more risks and exhibit higher volatility than investments that are more broadly diversified over industries or  sectors.  

Investments in aerospace and defense companies may be adversely affected by changes in governmental policies  and spending as well as adverse economic conditions and industry consolidation. The value of your investment is  also subject to geopolitical risks such as wars, terrorism, environmental disasters, and public health crises; the risk of  technology malfunctions or disruptions; and the responses to such events by governments and/or individual  companies. Fund holdings and sector allocations are subject to change, may differ from the Index, and should not be  considered investment advice.  

The Veterans Select Index℠, designed by VETS Indexes LLC, measures the performance of publicly traded  companies that support U.S. military veterans. 

Nasdaq is a registered trademark of Nasdaq, Inc. and its affiliates (together, “Nasdaq”) and is licensed for  use by Victory Capital. The product(s) are not issued, endorsed, sold, or promoted by Nasdaq. Nasdaq  makes no warranties as to the legality or suitability of, and bears no liability for, the product(s).  

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