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On March 31, 2017, the U.S. Department of Labor’s Office of Federal Contract Compliance Programs (OFCCP) updated its Annual Vietnam Era Veterans’ Readjustment Assistance Act (VEVRAA) Benchmark Database to reflect a new hiring benchmark of 6.7 percent.  The new benchmark is slightly lower than the previous year’s benchmark of 6.9 percent. 

The VEVRAA benchmark is a figure federal contractors must use to evaluate hiring and representation of protected veterans in the workforce. Under VEVRAA regulations, contractors may either use the OFCCP’s annual benchmark, which is based on annual data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics, or establish their own benchmark by following the five-factor method outlined in the OFCCP’s regulations.

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.

The new benchmark is effective March 31, 2017. Contractors that adopted the previous 6.9 percent benchmark in their affirmative action plans after March 4, 2016, but prior to the OFCCP’s announcement, may keep their benchmark at 6.9 percent.

More information on the VEVRAA hiring benchmark requirement can be found here.