In the past 12 months the national unemployment rate has dropped only slightly. The economy is still sluggish. While there have not been any horrific tumbles on Wall Street, the mere fact that it seems to be just treading water is enough to cause a lot of concern to business owners and resulting in only sluggish hiring and expansion.
So far this might sound pretty negative. And the truth is, the economy is in a little bit of trouble. However, what is good news for the Life After the Army community is this: According to a Stars and Stripes article, the veteran unemployment rate has dropped significantly, from 8.6 to 6.9. (That’s just under 20% if I did my math right!)
Reasons for the Veteran Unemployment Decline:
- Like we’ve talked about before here, and something that has been no secret; employers love hiring prior military. They’re getting valuable employees that help their bottom line. It’s “win-win”.
- Some of that 800 billion stimulus money went into helping and supporting military veterans. According to the graphic here at the Washington Post, it was (is) around 7 billion dollars. Is the money working? It would seem that way.
- The White House, with First Lady Michelle Obama running point, has put a large effort into making jobs easier to find and land for military veterans and their spouses. Remember, back in August of 2011 the First Lady and Joining Forces announced a plan to convince businesses to hire 100k military vets and military spouses by 2013. (Here’s a full list of commitments on the White House website).
I’m not going to get too political here, and I’m not casting my “online vote”, either. But to me this was the responsible thing for the Obama administration to do. We all knew that when he took office, that combat operations in Iraq wouldn’t last long. The administration had foresight into knowing that when all those troops came back from that campaign there would be a need for military vet jobs and the influx would remain high for years to come. So, ensuring that those jobs would be available became a big deal for the President and his time in office. So far, it seems to be working well.
As I mentioned the other day in an article, there are still 80,000 service members in Afghanistan. That too, will eventually end and they will come home. The military is down-sizing, as well. Which means a large pool of military vets who will need jobs is growing and the swell hasn’t reached the high-point yet.
The more I read and thought about the scenario the more I had to salute what the administration is doing. Political views aside, whether you support the current combat operations of our military or the administration currently making those calls, the fact is that there are efforts being made to take care of military veterans and spouses larger, more controversial decisions are being made.
How about you? Who should get the credit? Do you think it matters, or are you just happy that there are jobs out there? Sound off in the comments below!