High unemployment still haunting military veterans

WASHINGTON Fri Mar 21, 2014 9:00am EDT

1 of 2. A U.S. Marine (L) shakes hands at an employers booth at the Hiring Our Heroes job fair in Washington January 10, 2014.

Credit: Reuters/Kevin Lamarque

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WASHINGTON (Reuters) - Unemployment among U.S. military veterans eased last year, government data showed on Thursday, but remained far higher than the national average rate for the civilian population.

The unemployment rate among veterans who had joined the military after September 11, 2001, averaged 9.0 percent last year, down from 9.9 percent in 2012, the Labor Department said. That was about 1.6 percentage points above the rate for the civilian population.

Joblessness among this group is set to worsen as the war in Afghanistan winds down. Pentagon's proposed budget calls for the U.S. Army to shrink to around 450,000 from a war-time high of 570,000.

The Obama administration and the U.S. Congress have pushed forward an array of measures, including tax credits for companies employing veterans of the Iraq and Afghanistan wars.

"There is still much work to be done for our nation's youngest veterans," said James Jones, co-chair at the non-profit Call of Duty Endowment in Arlington, Virginia.

"These brave young men and women bring tremendous value to the workplace and it is the job of executives and hiring managers alike to promote their worth and eradicate the still-evident discrepancy in employment rates."

Call of Duty Endowment helps veterans find careers by supporting groups that prepare them for the job market.

Research by Federal Reserve Bank of Chicago economists last year found that veterans deployed overseas for prolonged periods struggled to find work because of the traumas of war, as well as training that did not readily translate into the civilian world.

Among 9/11 military veterans, women suffered the most from high joblessness, with an unemployment rate of 9.6 percent in 2013. That compared to 12.5 percent in 2012. Unemployed female veterans were concentrated in the 18-34 age group last year.

The unemployment rate for men was 8.8 percent, down from 9.5 percent the previous year. Unemployment was high for men in the 18-24 age group, with the rate at 24.3 percent.

For men aged 25 to 34, the unemployment rate was 9.2 percent. For male veterans 35 and older, the unemployment rate was below 6.5 percent last year.

(Reporting By Lucia Mutikani; Editing by Mohammad Zargham)

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Comments (19)
Bakhtin wrote:
“These brave young men and women bring tremendous value to the workplace and it is the job of executives and hiring managers alike to promote their worth and eradicate the still-evident discrepancy in employment rates.”

Obviously, employers don’t agree. Maybe they should find out why and address the cause instead of empty, noble-sounding, rhetoric that does nothing useful.

Mar 21, 2014 1:35am EDT  --  Report as abuse
Barbd wrote:
employers do not want to hire and train or invest even one to two weeks in an individual that could be a very strong and loyal asset to a company/ they prefer to hire young people with degrees that do nothing but go to meetings and harass employees/ or direct roll outs from other positions that have SOME experience but eventually may not fit their bill at all/ hire with prejudicial practices on even looks or age/ there is a VAST amount of americans who are just NOT getting employed because no one wants to bother to teach them a damn computer program or they don’t fit the 90-100% of work production capability which is not easily found/ such a WASTE of human pride/ accomplishment/ knowledge/ dignity/ and above all else LOYALTY/ not one of those 20-30 aged hiring nimrods have a clue

Mar 21, 2014 6:12am EDT  --  Report as abuse
Crash866 wrote:
You voted…twice…

Mar 21, 2014 9:10am EDT  --  Report as abuse
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