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Employment Only Half The Battle For America’s Veterans

The unemployment among non-veterans is higher than those of veterans. It is only that veterans struggle to have satisfaction in their current jobs.

March 10, 2024

The unemployment rate of veterans is far less than that of non-veterans but still, getting a job is only half the battle. Most former service members still struggle to find satisfaction in a civilian work environment after spending years of training for battle or being deployed into combat zones.

A Marine Corps veteran Waco Hoover said, “When you join the military, you’re going to for a very specific reason. And when you’re there, whether it’s four years or for 34 years, you’ve got your mission, team, camaraderie — you have a very clear purpose in what you’re doing”.

The U.S. at present is witnessing the lowest-ever unemployment rate for veterans. The
Department of Labor reported a 3% veteran unemployment rate as of February compared to 3.6% for nonveterans.

Compared to the general population, job satisfaction among veterans is lower than. A poll conducted on this reveals that compared to the nonveterans, the veterans are more likely to report having no satisfaction at their current job.

A survey was also conducted on this which revealed that 22% of veterans feel underemployed. Jeffrey Wenger, Senior Economist at the RAND Corporation, a nonprofit research institution said, “The one thing that I think is sometimes frustrating first for military members who are transitioning is you can be a very junior person in the military — first, second, third year — and you have tremendous responsibilities”.

The dissatisfaction among veterans can be due to career progression. By this, we mean that 1 veteran in every 4 veterans believed that they were not likely to advance at their current jobs.

Consequently, the government and the nonprofits are focussing most of their work and efforts on not only helping veterans to get jobs but also assisting them in finding fulfilling careers for them.

There should be sustained efforts to raise public awareness regarding the skills, experiences, and programs provided to veterans after they got separated at the federal and state levels.
Wenger said, “I think we’ve done a better job of helping them transition into the civilian labor market. We now provide programs at the end of their service period that give them training on how to talk about the skills that they developed.”

The Department of Labor provides programs to help veterans train and advance themselves in civilian careers. There are different programs to set up to provide the desired training to veterans before separation and create more marketable candidates.

However, it is not known whether these programs are still working or open for veterans or not. The Public Relations Manager Nicole Tardif said, “I would say that one of the things that have been pretty apparent across the board with transition is just the sheer lack of actual valuable experiences that are coming out of the transition, TAP programs”.

Tardif added, “It’s considered kind of a box check, as is the way that the program is set up, where you’re not really learning or being prepared for the civilian world, you’re really just checking the box to make sure you took the classes you were supposed to right before you get out”.

The Department of Labor is addressing these concerns of veterans. Employment Navigator and Partnership Program is a new program to provide career assistance to interested transitioning service members and their spouses at the selected military installations to boost veterans’ employment.

As far as career transitions among veterans are concerned, there is nothing like one size fits all. Veterans tend to face unique challenges while changing career paths.

Moreover, the challenges and opportunities service members face in their 20s will not be the same as the ones in their 30s and 40s.

Veterans are encouraged to manage expectations, explore their career preferences, and take advantage of the tight labor market to find a good fit.

Wenger said, “[As a veteran], I’m not having to take the first job offer that comes my way. I can be a little bit more selective about the kinds of things I’d like to do. And we can, you know, force employers to give you more responsibilities or at least match better to your preferences.”

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The content provided in this article draws inspiration and includes quotes from various reputable sources, including news articles, government data, and interviews. Affordable Housing 411 strives to ensure accuracy and credibility, but the information presented may be based on some external sources. We encourage readers to refer to the referenced materials for more in-depth insights and verification.

Scully Rachel. “Why employment is only half the battle for America’s veterans”. The Hill, March 10, 2024,
Why employment is only half the battle for America’s veterans | The Hill

Last Updated: September 20, 2021