We see a lot of statistics about veteran unemployment, some good and some bad — last week we had a post that indicated that employment for veterans may be on the upswing, but to focus on how a particular group of veterans has been doing (and how far they need to go), a recent Bureau of Labor Statistics report indicates that Post-Sept. 11 veterans had a tougher time finding work in 2011 even as the overall veterans employment situation improved slightly from the year before.
According to the report, veterans who served in the Iraq and Afghanistan War eras averaged 12.1 percent monthly unemployment in 2011, compared to 11.5 percent in 2010, a figure at odds with the national unemployment rate and jobless claims for all veterans, which fell slightly during the same time period.
As reported last week, February 2012 employment data showed a 7.6 percent jobless rate for post-Sept. 11 veterans, the lowest that figure has been since 2008 — was it a blip on the screen, or a sign of better things to come. We’ll see… in the meantime, Secretary of Labor Hilda L. Sois released this official statement about the 2011 unemployment data:
“This annual report underscores the importance and the urgency of President Obama’s initiatives to increase employment among veterans.
“President Obama has put into place critical programs that will help our veterans. They include the Vow to Hire Heroes Act, which provides unemployed veterans with additional GI Bill benefits to qualify for jobs in high-demand sectors; the Returning Heroes Tax Credit, which provides incentives to businesses to hire unemployed veterans; and the Wounded Warrior Tax Credit, to encourage the hiring of veterans with service-connected disabilities.
“At the Labor Department, we have introduced the Veterans Gold Card to provide veterans with enhanced, priority services at 3,000 One-Stop Career Centers across the country; My Next Move for Veterans, so that veterans may go online and match their military occupations with civilian jobs; and the Veterans Job Bank Resource Directory, which allows veterans to search more than 500,000 job postings by companies.
“Our veterans have made sacrifices on behalf of the nation, and I ask all employers to renew their commitment to veterans, because the best way to honor our veterans is to employ them. No veteran should have to fight for a job at home after fighting to protect our nation.”
U.S. Department of Labor news materials are accessible at http://www.dol.gov. The information above is available in large print, Braille or CD from the COAST office upon request by calling 202-693-7828 or TTY 202-693-7755.