Are You a Young Veteran? Good Luck Finding a Job…

March 20, 2012 |

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 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. 


About Ho Lin

Ho Lin is an editor at His interests include naval history, the New York football Giants, and loud rock music.


  1. Mark Gallagher says:

    I agree with this story. I've applied to many wonderful companies, Walt Disney, Hawaiian Airlines, Hawaiian Electric, and others. However, truthfully, it still doesn't look good. I needed to return to school for an MBA, I'll graduate in May 2012. I hope with this new tool, I'll have better chances to support my family in the future. I am both humbled and privileged to accept a hand up, not a hand out. I would like to make my own support. I want to enjoy life with my family for a change. The long deployments weigh too heavily on families. God bless all Veterans everywhere and thank you for your sacrifice. I feel our pain, together.

    • Mark W. says:

      I can definitely relate to you Mike G. Disney World is a hard company to get into unless you know someone (amongst other companies); I went back to school to get my MBA as well in hopes of securing a better financial foothold. Good luck to all the vets trying to secure “good” employment where you will be happy; persevere and stay on course and you will be awarded.

  2. Jay says:

    I was in the army for 8 years as a financial management specialist aka finance. Took me about 5 interviews till I finally got hired which was about 3 months. The only thing is I was so desperate for a job that I took what I could get. I am definitely not getting paid what I am worth. Plus I am in an entry level job ( call center ) and to me I am thinking come on what am I doing. So I applied for like 7 jobs on for what I used to do in the army. If I don't get one of these I will flip $hit to be honest. The problem is the employers not knowing what we are worth and the background. Granted some people should be entry level but case by case basis. I should be paid at least 2 dollars more then what I am getting now. It is just frustrating I am not being seen as what I am worth.

  3. Marcus C says:

    The problem with the younger vets is that they wait till they have 3 months until their EAS to start actively looking for jobs. Most of them spent their 1st 4-8 years partying, spending money, and getting in debt. For the ones that were deployed most of their years, they save up money on deployment only to come back to the states and blow it on needless things! Most of them have taken advantage of the 100% tuition assistance while on active duty. Most of them don’t have money saved up, most are in debt, and most don’t have a resume! I tell my Marines that they should start looking for jobs at least 1 year prior to their EAS. I tell them that if they haven’t started saving money, now is the time to start saving! For the ones trying to go to college when they get out, most haven’t applied for school, signed up for eBenefits, don’t have a plan for medical/dental benefits expense, and most haven’t applied for financial aid. Most don’t even know where they are gonna live! Their plan is to (1) go to school and live off the Post 9/11 G.I.Bill, (2) move back in with their parents. (3) go work for their brother’s. mother’s, sister’s, father’s friend who has these “mythical” construction job that is going to pay them $100,000 a year! Basically most younger vets haven’t prepared themselves for life after the military even though there are an adundance of resourse available to them! All they have to do is ask!

  4. JOHN HAUGER says:


  5. DOM says:


  6. OIF vet says:

    Part of the problem is this is an extremely unpopular war that many blame for putting the nation in debt in the first place. Why else would the younger vets have more trouble finding work than the older. It doesn't add up. I know that a lot of what Marcus said is true, but I used the GI bill to get my BA and am still having trouble like Jay explained. Most young vets arn't even in the position to take advantage of the GI bill the way I did. Good luck trying to take advantage of the free tuition on active duty with the deployment tempo. I don't know about most being able to do that. The fact is it is very hard for society to relate to us simular to the Nam vets except that there are far fewer of us. Hell the war isn't even reported on the news. Even though it is not as tough as it was for the Vietnam vets, the economy is a lot worse and we don't have as much mutual support as they did.

  7. James says:

    I did 20yrs in the Navy as a Gunners Mate (VLS Tech). I'm now 42, still looking for work since Dec. 2010, Where do I fit in?… Too old for law enforcement, the cut off is 36yrs of age. Security?…$8~$12 good luck feeding a family of 4 and paying rent. The Military Translator, saids I should go into wind technology, (wind mills) a green job. There is a program in place for us Vets to get the training, certs, and lics. as long as you are not over 28yrs old that is; what type of crap is this. If this is a program for us Vets then open it up to all who are willing and able. You and I know that we did many jobs then just the ones we went to schools for 4 months to a year for, but the oo the job training or the one day or one week classes, but without the certs. to back it no one is willing to trust your word for it. I'm about ready to tell them, I'll work for free for a week just to show them. By the way, Is it just me or was TAP class toooo short?

  8. Marko says:


    Now there is a ALL VET Social Network called http://WWW.VETSVILLAGE.COM

    check out their commercial on youtube: