Veteran Unemployment Declines with Strengthening Economy

New data released by the Department of Labor indicates that post-9/11 veterans have had a tougher time finding work than veterans who separated from the military before 9/11, especially in 2011, but overall veteran employment is on the rise.

Veteran unemployment numbers have improved.

The economy is on the rise, along with veteran employment.

A report released by the Bureau of Labor Statistics also shows that veterans who served in Iraq or Afghanistan averaged a 12.1 percent monthly unemployment rate, a slight increase from the 11.5 percent average in 2010. That means that of the 12.3 million people looking for work last year, nearly 1 million of those were veterans, and nearly a quarter of them left the military in the last ten years.

At a time when Americans are finally encouraged by an upswing in the economy and the job market, veterans may still face an arduous challenge when pursuing a career after the military.

Veteran unemployment numbers have improved since the start of 2012, which coincides with the economy’s growing strength, yet data from February still showed a 7.6 percent jobless rate for post-9/11 veterans.

The Deputy Director of Veterans of Foreign Wars, Ryan Galluci, is encouraged by the decrease in the jobless rate, but reminds others in legislative office not to rest until all veterans are taken care of. He noted, “This shows just how bad the situation has been for veterans. We’re encouraged by what we saw in February, but just because the February numbers were good, that doesn’t mean this no longer needs to be a priority.”

Retired Gen. James Jones, co-chair of the Call of Duty Endowment, a program focused on job training and job placement programs for veterans, said many employers have very little knowledge of the skillset that veterans bring to the civilian workforce, but that “the logic of hiring them is inescapable.”

Veterans often have a hard time believing that they qualify for state and government jobs more easily than their civilian counterparts, but according to the report, nearly 22 percent of veterans were given government jobs, compared to just 14.3 percent of civilians.

Veterans have found the most success regarding jobs in transportation, utility and manufacturing industries.


Photo courtesy of 401K