By Debbie Gregory.
The bad news is that according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor statistics, Veteran jobs were scarce in 2012, with the jobless rate for Post 9/11 Veterans at 9.9 percent, above the nation’s overall unemployment rate of 8.1 percent. The good news: there are jobs for veterans and Veteran employment is on the rise. The unemployment rate has dropped 2.2 percentage points from 2011 to 2012, while that national rate dipped only 0.8 percent. Experts say that veteran employment is a priority not just for the government but for companies as well.
“There’s been a concerted effort to hire veterans, both by the government and by a host of major corporations,” said J.P. Tremblay, Deputy Secretary of the California Department of Veterans Affairs. California gives preference points to veterans on civil service tests, and veteran jobs are available through the federal government in the form of contracting set-asides for veterans. Businesses that hire veterans are eligible for tax breaks.
In local markets, jobs for Veterans have been pushed to the top of many city and county agendas.
Around the nation, government-funded, one-stop employment centers provide unprecedented services for former soldiers. In many places, veterans go to the head of the line and receive job listings 24 hours before they are released to the general public. While the outlook for veteran employment is bright, the future could mean a difficult climb for many veterans in a shaky job market.
Experts expect more than a million soldiers to leave the military in the next five years. While many of those individuals will return to school with the help of expanded G.I. Bill benefits, hundreds of thousands of military men and women are expected to begin their job search almost immediately.
To inspire corporations to consider creating jobs for Veterans, in August 2011 President Obama announced expanded tax credits for private companies who hired former military members. He challenged the private sector to hire or train 100,000 Veterans and military spouses by December, 2013. “Think about how many Veterans have led their comrades on life-and-death missions by the time they were 25 years old,” Obama told service members and business executives in a speech at the Washington Navy Yard. “That’s the kind of responsibility and experience that any business in America should want to take advantage of.”
The President’s words have resonated with the private sector. In the past two years, scores of major companies have launched high-profile recruitment campaigns including Disney, Wal-Mart and JPMorgan Chase.
Many corporations say they want to hire veterans not to polish a corporate image, but for the attributes they bring to the job. “We get guys with radar and sonar experience,” said Philip Stenson, an executive at Santa Ana’s R.A. Industries, which manufactures oil drilling equipment. “They’re disciplined, they show up on time and they take orders well.”
MilitaryConnection.com is the Go To Site for Veteran jobs, with many resources such as a Virtual Job Fair, a Job Board, salary calculator, resume tips, and much more.