Youngest Military Veterans Still Unemployed

In 2013, the rate of unemployment among U.S. military veterans lowered but remains much higher than the national data for civilians.   Those veterans who joined the military after September 11, 2001 had an average unemployment rate of 9.0 percent which was down from 9.9 percent in 2012.  However, the U.S. Labor Department reported this was 1.6 percentage points higher than the rate for civilians.

For those returning from Afghanistan the employment landscape may be bleak.  In the Pentagon’s proposed budget, the U.S. Army will decline to about 450,000 active duty military versus a high of 570,000.  Those coming home will all need jobs and a way to utilize the skills they have mastered in the military. 

President Obama and Congress want businesses to employ more veterans and have offered a variety of measures including tax credits if they attract veterans of the Iraq and Afghanistan wars.

"There is still much work to be done for our nation's youngest veterans," said James Jones, co-chair at the non-profit Call of Duty Endowment in Arlington, Virginia.

"These brave young men and women bring tremendous value to the workplace and it is the job of executives and hiring managers alike to promote their worth and eradicate the still-evident discrepancy in employment rates."

Call of Duty Endowment works to pair veterans with jobs by preparing them for the workforce.  Many obstacles face those coming home including the trauma of war as well as the need for transferable skills and training for the job market.

Data show that post-9/11 female veterans face the most unemployment with a joblessness rate of 9.6 percent in 2013 which is down from 12.5 percent in 2012.  In 2013, most unemployed female veterans fell into the 18-34 age range.

For men, the rate was 8.8 percent, down from 9.5 percent in 2012.  The most affected age group was 18-24 year old men with that group coming in at 24.3 percent without a job.

For men aged 25-34, the unemployment rate was 9.2 percent.  Male veterans over the age of 35 had an unemployment rate of less than 6.5 percent last year.