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Monday, January 10, 2011

Despite education and training, veterans face a double-digit unemployment rate

Photo Credit-Hire
Veterans are facing a double-digit
underemployment rate despite having
specialized skills and education.
On January 7th, the Bureau of Labor Statistics cited that the nations' unemployment rate has dropped to a 19-month low of 9.4 percent. But, for military veterans, the jobless rate continues to be shockingly high.

The American Legion announced in a January 10th press release that the unemployment among veterans, who have served in the Armed Forces since September 2001, rose from 10 percent in November to 11.7 percent in December 2010.

"This disheartening trend demonstrates the continuing difficulty that veterans – especially young ones – are having in finding work in a job market composed primarily of non-veterans," said Jimmie Foster, national commander of The American Legion.

Veterans face job-seeking hardships for a number of reasons, including being out of the civilian workforce during tours of duty and hiring managers’ knowledge of military based skill sets.

"Primarily, employers resist hiring people – such as veterans – who have been out of the domestic workforce for an extended period of time. Besides that, some potential employers have difficulty understanding how specialized skills and expertise gained in the service translate into their own needs."

The press release cites that most Iraq and Afghanistan veterans are men, 25 to 34 years old and nearly half 46 percent, complete their service with either some college education or an associate's degree. In contrast, only 28 percent of their nonveteran counterparts have some form of higher education.

"Clearly, young veterans are very attractive job candidates," Foster stated.  

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