Recent statistics show the job market in this country has been steadily improving, except for one select group of people – veterans. In fact, the veterans unemployment percentage actually increased during the time when other unemployment figures decreased.
On average, the unemployment rate in 2011 for veterans who served between September 11, 2001 to the end of 2011 was 12.1%. In 2010, the average unemployment rate for the year was 11.5%. By comparison, the unemployment rate for non-veterans was 8.7% in 2011 and 9.4% in 2010.
And the numbers are even worse for veterans in the 18 to 24-year-old range. Their unemployment rate was 30.2% percent in 2011, compared to 25 to 34-year-old veterans at 13%.
Experts theorize that young veterans have a higher unemployment rate due specifically to their military service, as their non-military counterparts were already going to college, or a trade school, and were networking in their career field of choice.
For some veterans, the skills they learned in the military transfer over to the civilian workplace, but in many other cases, they don’t. For those whose skills do not transfer, they may need to use their Post 9/11 GI Bill to further their education in their chosen career field, or if already trained, get the certification or license they needed to compete with other job hunters. Also, many veterans have trouble trying to translate their skills and experiences properly on their resumes. If you fall under this category, hire an experienced military-to-civilian resume writer. It will be one of the best investments that you can make for your career.
Private groups, government agencies and some elected officials have been working hard to create programs and processes that make it easier for veterans to get jobs. However, the problem may get worse before it gets better as more troops return from war and the military scales back.
Labor Secretary Hilda Solis recently said in statement that, “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.” While it may garner support, the proof, as they say, is in the pudding.