By Debbie Gregory.
With the jobless rate for veterans last year being at 5.3%, one might wonder where the best place would be to settle down and reduce that percentage even more. Factors making a region more desirable can include low crime rates, modest cost of living, and proximity of medical/VA facilities.
Topping the most recent list of cities with the strongest labor market is Boise, Idaho. Having Gowen Field Air National Guard Base in the area, Boise knows the high caliber of job candidates in both veterans and military spouses.
“Once you set foot in Boise, you can literally see the growth,” says Sunny Ackerman, Vice President for workforce expert ManpowerGroup’s western division. “Boise’s employment outlook has jumped 10 points since the first quarter of 2015, when it was 22%.”
In a recent survey of 18,000 employers spanning the country, Manpower additionally listed Jacksonville, FL, Grand Rapids, MI, Milwaukee, WI, and Seattle, WA as cities with promising job growth.
Although the jobless rate still remains higher for the veteran population versus civilians, the unemployment rate is certainly easing. This could be due in part to employers being more enlightened as to how skills acquired in the military will translate to the civilian world. Employers are realizing that military-trained candidates bring a high level of discipline, adaptability, technical skills and integrity to the workforce, and once oriented to the needs of the employer, veterans are proving to be excellent hires.
Cities showing the least growth in Manpower’s survey were Oklahoma City, Youngstown, OH, El Paso TX, and Wichita, KS.
In positioning one’s self to the best advantage for employment opportunities, veterans might benefit from seeking the advice of a good resume writer. Frequently the job criteria may be perfect for a candidate, but without the resume opening the door, candidates and employers might not make the connection. Crafting the resume to highlight the desirable skills of the veteran will often avoid placing a candidate in an under-employed environment or a mismatched placement.
Networking is extremely valuable in seeking employment in the civilian workforce. Quite different from 30 years ago, when one would simply submit an application, networking is often the best way to get a first interview.
Social media sources, such as LinkedIn, are not to be dismissed; the connections one makes through these sources often capture the opportunity before the listing even hits the job boards.
As the positive outlook of employers increases across the country, veterans should be prepared, and are well suited for success.
Military Connection proudly serves those who serve in the Army, Navy, Air Force, Marines, Coast Guard, Guard and Reserve, Veterans and their families. We are the go-to site for Veteran Employment and information on Veteran education. Militaryconnection.com provides Veterans with and Directory of Employers, a Job Board, information on the Post-9/11 GI Bill, and a blog that offers Veterans boundless information. Be sure to visit Militaryconnection.com, the go-to site.
Military Connection: Veteran Job Outlook-Where the Jobs Are: by Debbie Gregory