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Reports send mixed message on veteran unemployment
Reports show mixed signs of progress on reducing unemployment for US military veterans
By The Associated Press

WASHINGTON (AP) ' The unemployment rate for military veterans of Iraq and Afghanistan has started to drop recently after months of riding higher than the national average, but some analysts caution it's too early to tell if the progress is real or a blip.

The monthly snapshot provided by the federal government's February jobs report showed that the unemployment rate for veterans of the two wars had dropped significantly, to 7.6 percent. That followed a decline in January, too.

Last month's number was also lower than the rate of 8.3 percent for the population as a whole, a significant shift.

But some analysts put more stock in a report issued Tuesday that looks at a full year's worth of data. That report showed that the unemployment rate slightly worsened for veterans in 2011.

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