The U.S. Department of Labor announced that the new annual hiring benchmark under the Vietnam Era Veterans’ Readjustment Assistance Act (VEVRAA) is 6.9 percent, down slightly from 7 percent in 2015. The act requires federal contractors to take affirmative action to recruit, hire, promote and retain veterans. Under final VEVRAA regulations that went into effect in March 2014, federal contractors are allowed to establish a hiring benchmark for veterans based on “the current national percentage of veterans in the workforce.” Contractors also can choose to set up an individual benchmark based on a five-factor method: Factor 1: The average percentage of veterans in the civilian labor force for the state where the establishment is located for the previous three years. Factor 2: 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. Factor 3: The applicant ratio and hiring ratio for the establishment for the previous year. Factor 4: The most recent assessment of the effectiveness of outreach and recruitment efforts. Factor 5: 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. Click here for more information on the hiring benchmark.