Thursday, October 6, 2016

Veterans in Uintah County!/publish-confirm

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 Uintah 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 first tab is a broad overview of veterans statewide.

The second tab details Uintah County veterans versus Utah veterans as a whole. Uintah County veterans in the 18-34 year-old age group (known as a cohort) are employed and participate in the labor force at a much higher rate than veterans in the state as a whole. It is not clear whether this is a function of disabled veterans flocking to population centers or whether statewide veterans are seeking higher education and therefore unavailable for work.

The third tab shows median income for Uintah County by sex and veteran status. Two observations are especially noteworthy; female veterans earn roughly as much as males and male veterans make significantly less than nonveterans in Uintah County. The first demonstrates that women veterans are full and equal participants in the labor market. This is highly unusual; most counties in Utah have a larger income discrepancy between women and men. Lastly veterans are likely underrepresented in the oil and gas industry. This sector drives Uintah County wages, and the age distribution of Uintah County veterans looks similar or younger than the state’s as a whole. This is inferred by the Veterans by Era of Service tab. Since county wages are driven by the oil and gas industry, lower wages imply lower representation.

Lastly, the fifth tab shows veterans by educational attainment and veteran’s status. It is interesting to note that the Uintah County profile shows that veterans have more bachelor’s degrees than their nonveteran counterparts, but less than Utah veterans statewide.