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Office of Federal Contract Compliance Programs

VEVRAA Benchmark Database

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The Hiring Benchmark Requirement

Effective March 24, 2014, contractors required by the Vietnam Era Veterans’ Readjustment Assistance Act (VEVRAA) to develop a written affirmative action program (AAP) must also establish a hiring benchmark for protected veterans each year or adopt the national benchmark provided by the Office of Federal Contract Compliance Programs (OFCCP). Under either approach, contractors must compare the percentage of employees who are protected veterans in each of their establishments to the hiring benchmark set for that establishment. Contractors should use the result of this comparison when assessing the effectiveness of their veteran outreach and recruitment efforts.

This VEVRAA Benchmark Database provides additional information regarding the establishment of hiring benchmarks and easy access to the national and State data that may be needed to establish these benchmarks.

Important Terms

Hiring Benchmark: the percentage of total hires who are protected veterans that the contractor seeks to hire in the following year

Civilian Labor Force (CLF): the sum of people who are employed and those who are unemployed but looking for work in a specified area, e.g., nationwide or in a particular State.

Employment Service Delivery System (ESDS): an employment service office in a State or locality that provides labor exchange services, including employment, training, and placement services, as part of the national One-Stop service delivery network established by the States under the Workforce Investment Act of 1998.

Methods for Establishing a Hiring Benchmark

As mentioned earlier, contractors may choose one of two options for establishing the required hiring benchmark for each of their establishments.

Option I: Adopt the National Percentage of Veterans in the Civilian Labor Force

The simplest method for setting a hiring benchmark is to adopt the national benchmark based on the percentage of veterans in the civilian labor force. This annually updated percentage is posted below. No additional calculation or analysis is required. Contractors with multiple establishments that choose this option may use the national percentage benchmark for any or all of their establishments.

Option II: Develop Individualized Hiring Benchmarks

Contractors preferring to establish more individualized hiring benchmarks may use this alternative method. To set a benchmark using this method, contractors must consider all of the five factors listed below. However, contractors are not required to use all five factors to create their benchmark. The first two factors are U.S. Department of Labor statistics on State-level availability of veterans, which are posted in the database below. The second two factors, applicant and hiring ratio, are items that contractors may obtain from their AAPs. The last factor allows contractors to consider any other relevant factors that might affect the availability of qualified protected veterans for their workforce. Contractors using this individualized method must document each factor considered and explain the methodology and rationale used to arrive at the benchmark selected.

Contractors with multiple establishments that choose this option may establish individualized benchmarks for each of their establishments, or may choose, instead, to adopt the national percentage of veterans in the civilian labor force (Option I) as the benchmark for one or more of their establishments. Contractors with multiple establishments may use both options when establishing the benchmarks for those establishments, but may utilize only one benchmark option per establishment.

Contractors must consider all five of these factors when developing an individualized hiring benchmark:

  1. The average percentage of veterans in the civilian labor force for the State where the establishment is located, for the previous three years. The Department of Labor, Bureau of Labor Statistics, calculates this information regarding the general availability of veterans for employment for each State. This data is provided below in two different formats. One format displays annual data for every State, by year. While the other format shows three years of data for each individual State, by State.
  2. Note: This data is not available for Puerto Rico, the U.S. Virgin Islands, or Guam. Contractors in Puerto Rico or the U.S. Virgin Islands should select Florida data. Contractors in Guam should select Hawaii data.

  3. The number of veterans who participated in the employment service delivery system in the State where the establishment is located, over the previous four quarters. The Department of Labor, Veterans’ Employment and Training Service, tabulates this data regarding the number of veterans seeking jobs. This data is provided below for the most recent four quarters, as well as for previous periods.
  4. Note: This data is not available for Guam. Contractors in Guam should select Hawaii data.

  5. The applicant ratio and hiring ratio for the establishment for the previous year. To make these computations, use the data your company has collected to comply with section 60-300.44(k) of the revised VEVRAA regulations, which should also be included in your AAP. To calculate the applicant ratio, compare the number of protected veteran applicants to the total number of applicants. To calculate the hiring ratio, compare the number of protected veterans hired to the total number of hires.
  6. The most recent assessment of the effectiveness of your outreach and recruitment efforts. This information is included in your AAP.
  7. Any other factor, such as the nature of the job openings or the facility’s location, that would tend to affect the availability of qualified protected veterans. This factor provides contractors with the flexibility to consider any other pertinent factors about your establishment or the nature of your business that might affect the availability of qualified protected veterans as part of the process of establishing the hiring benchmark.

Examples: Using the Five Factors to Develop an Individualized Hiring Benchmark

The two examples below show how a hypothetical contractor might establish a benchmark using the five-factor method. The first example shows how a contractor might establish a benchmark for a “transitional AAP” or its first AAP after the March 24, 2014 effective date of the new VEVRAA regulations. Transitional AAPs may contain only some of the data required by the new regulations and, therefore, will not be in full compliance with the new regulations. The second example shows how the same contractor might establish a benchmark for its next AAP, when it is in full compliance with the new regulations.

These examples are not prescriptive; they simply demonstrate possible approaches contractors may take when establishing an individualized benchmark. Contractors, however, may take other approaches. So long as the contractor reasonably describes and documents the factors it took into account and its methodology for considering them, it will be found to be in compliance with the section 60-300.45 requirement to establish a hiring benchmark.

  1. Transitional AAP Year. FCI, a contractor in Dayton, Ohio establishes an individualized benchmark for its transitional AAP of 8.2 percent. The data considered using the five factors and the methodology FCI used to create its benchmark are shown below. FCI is an engineering and aerospace firm.
  2. Hiring Benchmark: 8.2%
    Factor 1: Average percentage of veterans in the civilian labor force in Ohio(data is for illustrative purposes only)
    2012
    7.8%
    2013
    8.03%
    2014
    8.72%
    Factor 2: Number of veteran participants in Ohio ESDS over the last 4 quarters(data is for illustrative purposes only)
    75,246
    Factor 3: Applicant and hiring ratio data for previous year (60-300.44(k) data) Transitional year – No data for previous year available.
    Factor 4: Recent assessments of the effectiveness of its outreach and recruitment efforts Transitional year – Assessment not yet conducted.
    Factor 5: Other factors affecting availability of qualified protected veterans Contractor location is less than 15 miles from the Wright –Patterson Air Force Base. The base is headquarters of the Aeronautical Systems Center and the Air Force Research Laboratory. Estimates from the local media outlets are that between 100 to 250 veterans leave military service while stationed at this base annually, and many are highly skilled.

    To arrive at its benchmark, FCI considers the data in the following way:

    • First, Factor 1 indicates that the percentage of veterans in the civilian labor force in Ohio over the last three years has been rising slightly.
    • Second, Factor 2 shows that a significant number of veterans are seeking employment in the state and have registered with the ESDS.
    • Third, because FCI’s AAP is a “transitional AAP,” it does not yet have data available for Factors 3 and 4. Therefore, FCI is unable to fully consider these factors in developing its benchmark.
    • Finally, Factor 5 indicates that there are likely good veteran recruitment opportunities for FCI, at the local level, due to its proximity to a major military installation. The skills match with Wright Patterson is also very compatible to FCI’s needs, as many of the separating veterans are highly skilled in engineering and related fields.

    Looking at all the available data from Factors 1 through 5, including the absence of data for Factors 3 and 4, FCI decides to rely on the Factor 1 data reflecting the general availability of veterans in Ohio’s civilian labor force as the basis for its benchmark. In light of the relatively consistent statewide availability numbers, FCI decides to average together the three years of Factor 1 data, and uses as its benchmark the resulting 8.2 percent. This number is higher than Ohio’s veteran availability for two of the last three years (2012 and 2013); at 8.2 percent the benchmark is only .52 percent lower than the State’s 2014 availability of 8.72 percent. FCI’s methodology for setting its 8.2 percent benchmark appears reasonable based on how it considered and assessed the significance of the five factors.

  3. Second Year AAP (first full year of compliance with revised regulations). The following year, for its first full AAP, FCI establishes an individualized benchmark for its AAP of 9 percent. FCI’s data for each of the five factors and its methodology in arriving at its benchmark are shown below.
  4. Hiring Benchmark: 9%
    Factor 1: Average percentage of veterans in the civilian labor force in Ohio (data is for illustrative purposes only)
    2013
    8.03%
    2014
    8.72%
    2015
    8.53%
    Factor 2: Number of veteran participants in Ohio ESDS over the last 4 quarters (data is for illustrative purposes only)
    82,770
    Factor 3: Applicant and hiring ratio data for previous year (60-300.44(k) data)
    Applicant Ratio: 9%
    Hiring Ratio: 10%
    Factor 4: Recent assessments of the effectiveness of its outreach and recruitment efforts Overall outreach and recruitment efforts are effective. FCI has attracted a large pool of veteran applicants due to participation in veteran job fairs and veteran hiring from local colleges.
    Factor 5: Other factors affecting availability of qualified protected veterans Contractor location is less than 15 miles from the Wright –Patterson Air Force Base. The base is headquarters of the Aeronautical Systems Center and the Air Force Research Laboratory. Estimates from the local media outlets are than between 100 to 250 veterans separate from service while stationed at this base annually, and many are highly skilled. Contractor works with Wright-Patterson’s Transition Assistance Program (TAP).

    In this scenario, FCI has more information about its outreach and recruitment efforts and has assessed their effectiveness. Its program has resulted in applicant and hiring ratios that are higher than the statewide percentage of veterans in the civilian labor force. FCI, therefore, concludes that it would be more appropriate to base its hiring benchmark on its own applicant and hiring ratio data, rather than on the statewide availability data it had used the previous year when its own data was incomplete. Although the number of veterans seeking employment through the ESDS has increased slightly, FCI is also mindful that the statewide availability of veterans has decreased a little since last year. FCI, therefore, decides to adopt as its hiring benchmark its 9 percent applicant pool ratio, rather than its previous year’s hiring ratio of 10 percent.


Instructions for using the VEVRAA Benchmark Database

Annual National Benchmark

  • If you are adopting the annual national benchmark, Option I above, use the “Annual National Percentage of Veterans in the CLF – Current Year” as shown at the top of the database. No additional data or analysis is required.

Individualized Benchmark

This database contains the data relevant to the first two of the five factors contractors must consider when setting their own benchmark:

  • Factor One--the data on the percentage of veterans in the civilian labor force for all States (by year), and the percentage of veterans in the civilian labor force for three years (by State) are relevant factor one. This data is identical, but is presented in different formats. Contractors may use either data set, or both, in their analysis.
  • Factor Two--the data on number of veterans who participated in the employment service delivery system in each State.

If you are establishing individualized benchmarks, Option II above, follow these steps for using the VEVRAA Benchmark Database.

  • Access the “Percentage of Veterans in the Civilian Labor Force for All States, by Year” by selecting the year for which you are seeking data for all the States and clicking “Go” to view a table of the States and the percentage of veterans in the civilian labor force for each one.
  • Access the “Percentage of Veterans in the Civilian Labor Force for Three Years , by State” by clicking the arrow to select the State and then clicking “Go” to view a table showing three years of data for the selected State. The civilian labor force (CLF) data does not include Puerto Rico, the U.S. Virgin Islands, or Guam. Contractors in Puerto Rico or the U.S. Virgin Islands should select Florida CLF data. Contractors in Guam should select Hawaii data.
  • Access data on veteran participation in ESDS for the most recent four quarters for each State by clicking on the arrow to select a State, and then clicking “Go” to see the most recent data, for the selected State. ESDS data is not available for Guam. Contractors in Guam should select Hawaii data.
  • Access data on veteran participation in ESDS for the earlier quarters (i.e., prior to the most recent four quarters) for each State by clicking on the arrow to select a State, and then clicking “Go” to see the older data.

Select any of the following options to obtain the data:

Annual National Percentage of Veterans in the CLF - Current Year (Based on Census Population Survey Table 1, provided by BLS):

7.2%

Annual National Percentage of Veterans in the Civilian Labor Force - Prior Years:

All States,* Percentage of Veterans in the Civilian Labor Force, by Year:

Percentage of Veterans in the Civilian Labor Force, by State:*

Veteran Participants in the Employment Service Delivery System, by State
(most recent 4 quarters):

Veteran Participants in the Employment Service Delivery System, by State
(earlier data):

*CLF data does not include Puerto Rico or the U.S. Virgin Islands. Therefore, contractors in Puerto Rico or the U.S. Virgin Islands should select Florida CLF data.