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Social and environmental factors play a key role in promoting conditions to enable people to achieve and maintain good health. Two new measures were added to the 2018 Health of Those Who Have Served Report: employment and food insecurity. Having a job provides an important source of stability and benefits for most families, and directly influences whether a person can afford safe housing, quality childcare, and educational opportunities. Food insecurity is a marker of whether someone has access to sufficient, nutritious food, and influences diet, weight, and overall health.
How Have Employment & Food Insecurity Rates Changed Since 2011-2012 for Those Who Have Served? Encouraging Improvements: - Employment rate increased by 4% from 89.6% to 92.9% among those who have served. - Employment rate increased by 17% from 62.7% to 73.6% for those who have served who earn less than $25,000 annually. - Food insecurity declined by 16% from 12.7% to 10.7% among those who have served who are 50 years or older.
Those who have served report significantly higher rates of employment than those who have not served (92.9% vs. 90.6%). The difference in overall rate of food insecurity, which is measured as the percentage who faced the threat of hunger in the past 30 days, was not statistically significant between those who have and have not served (15.2% vs. 16.6%). However, important findings emerged at the subpopulation level:
  • Some minorities who have served have higher rates of employment and lower rates of food insecurity than their peers who have not served. For example, blacks who have served have significantly higher rates of employment (89.0% vs. 84.4%) and lower rates of food insecurity (22.8% vs. 29.1%) than blacks who have not served.
  • At lower levels of education and income, those who have served have significantly higher rates of employment and lower rates of food insecurity than those have not served.

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