On average, the jobless rate for all unemployed vets hovers around 6.6 percent, and per the Bureau for Labor Statistics, the unemployment rate for post-9/11 veterans specifically, while on the decline, is notably higher at around nine percent – varying state-by-state from four to ten percent.
The unemployment rate among young veterans is nearly three times the national average. This is often because unemployed vets encounter a unique bias and several set backs when trying to garner gainful employment.
To further understand the struggles unemployed vets endure, watch the video – titled “The Honest Truth” sponsored by the Official Call of Duty Endowment. In it, unemployed vets candidly share the negative stereotypes they face when trying to get a good job.
The Call of Duty Endowment is a non-profit corporation supported by Activision Blizzard. Their aim is to identify and fund organizations that place veterans into high quality careers.
These brave service-people say they don’t want handouts, they just want a chance like everyone else when meeting with potential employers; to not be judged on stereotype alone.
Those appearing in the video who are still out of work say that they face discrimination as they are predictably offered menial jobs that are well-beneath their expertise level, or considered mundane with a low-hourly wage.
There is something off-putting about a former soldier being offered a $9-an-hour janitorial or security job because an employer makes assumptions about their abilities.
Military veterans are not mindless battle drones. Yet many unemployed vets express a sense of being discriminated against or pigeon holed into positions they don’t feel are fair to their skill-set.
In 2013, 21.4 million men and women, or nine percent of the civilian non-institutional population age 18 and over, were classified as veterans.
Veterans are defined as men and women who have previously served on active duty in the US Armed Forces during World War II, the Korean War, the Vietnam era, Gulf War era I and II, as well as being enlisted outside designated wartime periods.
While Starbucks CEO Howard Schultz recently pledged to donate $30 million to support PTSD research, a condition common among vets, as well as vow to employ 10,000 veterans and their spouses over the next five years, other companies should consider the ambition, tenacity, and drive it takes to serve ones’ country.
[Photo Credit: The U.S. Army]