The unemployment rate for veterans of the Iraq and Afghanistan wars reached 14.7 percent in March, according to the latest government statistics.
The number of unemployed veterans increased to more than 250,000, up about 40,000 over the previous month's figures, according to the Department of Labor Statistics. Veterans groups say the figures are unacceptable.
"It's unforgivable that new veterans are bearing the brunt of the economic downturn," said Tom Tarantino, legislative director for the Iraq and Afghanistan Veterans of America. "This is no way to welcome a new generation of heroes home."
Unemployment rates for Iraq and Afghanistan war veterans have risen sharply in the past few years, according to Labor Department data. The rate was 10.2 percent in 2009, 7.3 percent in 2008, and 6.1 percent in 2007.