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The federal government hired the highest percentage of veterans in 20 years during Fiscal Year 2011, the Office of Personnel Management said on Tuesday.

The announcement is based on preliminary data collected by the President’s Council of Veterans Employment, which is made up of 24 cabinet level and other independent agencies.

“President Obama created the Veterans Employment Initiative to help employ our veterans, transitioning service members and military spouses – an integral part of keeping our sacred promise to America’s Veterans. It’s working,” said OPM Director John Berry. “The President’s Council on Veterans Employment established and pursued aggressive goals, and for our veterans, meeting those goals means jobs that serve the American people and help sustain the growth that supports the propriety and leadership in the world. I’m proud of the Council’s success in keeping these highly trained and experienced individuals working for our nation, particularly the over one million who served in Iraq.”

According to OPM, veterans hires made up 28.5% of total hires in fiscal year 2011, an increase of 2.9% over fiscal year 2010 and 4.5% higher than fiscal year 2009.

For additional information visit www.FedsHireVets.gov.