By Debbie Gregory.
In December, the unemployment rate for Iraq and Afghanistan Veterans fell to 7.3%, the lowest that it has been in years. The rate saw a slight increase in January, as it rose to 7.9%. Previously, the unemployment rate for Post-9/11 Veterans was consistantly around 10%, among the highest unemployment demographic in the country. The Bureau of Labor Statistics recently announced unemployment rates for February, and it seems that all of the progress that was made in Veteran employment has been negated, as Veteran unemployment spiked back up to 9.2%.
The unemployment rate for all Veterans even rose slightly from 5.6% in January, to 6.3%. Despite the rise, total Veteran unemployment remains lower than the civilian unemployment rate of 6.9%. This still leaves our youngest generation of Veterans, at 9.2% unemployed, with an unemployment rate that is 2.3% higher than the civilian population. This is an unacceptable statistic. As a country, we have to do a better job hiring Veterans.
Previous articles have challenged employers to hire Veterans, or promoted various Veteran hiring initiatives. But this article speaks directly to the unemployed Veterans. If you are having trouble finding a job, maybe you are approaching your employment search with unreasonable expectations. Veterans have accomplished so much, and no one at Military Connection will ever try to lessen any accomplishment by any Veteran. However, through an employer’s eyes, you may have not accomplished enough for them to hire you, and the proof is in the Bureau of Labor’s statistics. So here are a few career fields that Veterans should be looking at in order to find gainful employment.
- Student: The Post-9/11 GI Bill will pay your tuition and pay you a monthly housing allowance, while equipping you with the education and qualifications that employers desire. Veterans can also use their GI Bill to obtain civilian licenses and certifications for skills and fields that they already have experience in through the military. Student may be the very best job for Veterans at this time.
- Private Security: Veterans already know how to stand a post and look professional in a uniform. They have also had weapons and escalation of force training. Security companies are almost always hiring, and they offer a wide array of career opportunities from unarmed officer to account manager. These opportunities offer Veterans the ability to earn a living or work part time while they use their GI Bill.
- Franchising: Many Veterans are separating after multiple deployments with a little bit of extra cash in their accounts. There are a multitude of special opportunities for Veterans who want to work for themselves, in the form of franchise ownership. Interested Veterans should look into the VA’s resources for franchise ownership.
- Construction: There are so many more opportunities in the construction industry than just manual labor. Construction companies need supervisors, project managers, salesmen and equipment operators, all paying good money. Plus, Michelle Obama and Dr. Jill Biden’s group, Joining Forces, secured 100 construction companies to pledge to hiring 100,000 Veterans over the next 5 years.
- Transportation: Many Veterans have experience driving larger vehicles and keeping a schedule. There are a variety of jobs in the transportation industry: truck driving, bus driving, limousine driving, and even delivery and freight driving for private courier services, including the Postal Service. But Veterans often overlook careers that require extra licenses or certifications. Career driving schools and vehicle licenses and can be obtained through the utilization of your GI Bill.