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Labor Department Hiring Rules to Help Veterans and Disabled 

John Moore/Getty Images(WASHINGTON) -- New rules from the U.S. Labor Department may boost hiring for veterans and handicapped individuals.

The Labor Department announced regulations Tuesday that require government contractors to set a goal of having veterans make up 8 percent of their employees and disabled workers a target 7 percent.

"In a competitive job market, employers need access to the best possible employees," Secretary of Labor Thomas E. Perez said in a statement. "These rules make it easier for employers to tap into a large, diverse pool of qualified candidates."

Nearly 200,000 companies with a total of $700 billion a year in federal contracts could reshape their hiring as a result of the new rules, the Wall Street Journal reports.

The finalized regulations are an update to previous laws -- the Vietnam Era Veteran's Readjustment Assistance Act of 1974 and requirements under Section 503 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973.

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