VETS STRUGGLING TO FIND JOBS
Veterans who served after the September 11 attacks have an unemployment rate of about 10%, compared to the national average of 7.3%. While this is down from a peak veteran unemployment rate of 13.1% in December of 2011, this still means that 246,000 veterans who have served in the past 13 years are without work.
Female veterans have had consistently higher rates of unemployment than male veterans. This may partially be due to the fact that many female veterans are mothers who choose to stay outside of the workforce and focus on child rearing after their deployments. However, people who study employment statistics have also pointed to fewer available services for female vets, and a tendency to not self-identify as a veteran, which may affect their participation in preferential hiring efforts.
VETERAN HIRING INCENTIVES DO WORK TO CHANGE THE TREND
The federal government has stepped up efforts to increase veteran hiring, and has created incentives for employers who give preference to veterans. These incentives include reimbursement for veterans’ salaries and training, as well as tax credits for employers who hire veterans.
Additionally, the government has created a website (https://www.ebenefits.va.gov/ebenefits/jobs) to specifically assist veterans in finding employment, job training, or resources to continue their education. The website also offers a feature where veterans can enter their branch of service, military pay grade, and military occupation code in order to see what career areas may be a fit for their particular skills.
Many veterans who are willing to work are simply unable to do so on account of service-related injuries or disabilities. For these veterans, applying for disability benefits may provide the extra income needed to support themselves and their families.