Unemployment Among Returning Veterans on the Rise

Veterans returning from the current wars in Iraq and Afghanistan face problems on every front. For example, returning veterans cycling back from deployments face mental problems on unprecedented levels. Unfortunately, one other problem they are facing is unemployment.

The latest numbers place the unemployment rate for veterans of Iraq and Afghanistan was 14.7% in March. This translates into 250,000 unemployed veterans, which is 40,000 more than February.

Despite current funding and development in Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) programs designed to aid veterans in finding jobs, unemployment numbers continue to rise. There are many reasons why veterans are not able to find employment, but the most prevalent seem to be:

  • Military skills do not transfer well into the private sector; and
  • Poor assistance from the military in helping veterans transition back into the civilian world.

The veterans returning to the civilian world must be given military training and skills that transfer into marketable skills. Beyond this, veterans must be made aware of VA job training, job fairs, and placement services targeted towards them as a group. If the veterans are not aware what is available, there is no way they will benefit from what is made available to them.

The VA continues to fight for funding in order to help veterans with these types of issues. Discouragement sets in quickly in veterans who, for example, are trained as highly qualified combat medics only to return from deployment to find they do not even qualify to be able to drive an ambulance. Veterans make excellent employees because they have already proven they can work in conditions much more brutal than can ever be duplicated in the civilian world.

Learn more about unemployment among returning veterans from Iraq and Afghanistan.