The nation’s unemployment rate fell to its lowest level in almost three years for the end of 2011. The rate dropped to 8.5 percent in December, following a four-month trend resulting from a boost in private sector hiring.
This positive trend has led to more than 200,000 jobs being created in the past four months and 1.6 million jobs for 2011 as a whole, much better than the 940,000 added in 2010.
Council of Economic Advisers Chairman, Alan Krueger, said, “Today’s employment report provides further evidence that the economy is continuing to heal from the worst economic downturn since the Great Depression. It is critical that we continue the economic policies that are helping us to dig our way out of the deep hole that was caused by the recession that began at the end of 2007.”
Even though there has been over 200,000 jobs created since August, Iraq and Afghanistan era veterans have not felt the relief. The unemployment rate for post Sept. 11, 2001 veterans rose to 13.3 percent, up from the 11.7 percent in 2010.
For veterans of all generations, the unemployment rate remained fairly constant at 7.7 percent, only up .03 percent from November; however, from the rate has fallen from last year’s 8.3 percent.
Florida Representative Jeff Miller, the Chairman for the House Committee on Veterans’ Affairs, said he won’t be happy until the veteran unemployment rate is sub 5 percent. Miller is currently underway on pushing the VOW to Hire Heroes Act. This act tackles challenges such as translating military-learned skills, resume writing, interview skills, and teaching veterans new skills for industries that don’t always fit with a service member’s MO.
While December highlighted an ever-improving job market, some transitioning veterans have hit a roadblock. It’s important to not give up on your job search. Many business have said they are ready to step up hiring in 2012 after seeing a boost in consumer confidence and an increase discretionary income.