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Joblessness Among Veterans Leaps to 13.3%

One of the few negatives related to pending troop withdrawals from Iraq and Afghanistan, the Los Angeles Times points out, is that it will likely exacerbate an already abysmal unemployment situation among Gulf War II veterans — those who have “served at any time since September 2001”:

The jobless rate for veterans who served at any time since September 2001 — called Gulf War-era II veterans — was 13.3% in June, up from 12.1% the month before, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics. In June 2010 it was 11.5%.

This percentage point leap comes as one of the worst jobs reports of the recession was issued, indicating a mere 18,000 jobs created in June. The situation is dire. Network equipment goliath Cisco Systems has announced 10,000 looming layoffs.

The L.A. Times explains the particular troubles of returning home and joining the ranks of the unemployed:

Veterans face a unique set of obstacles when they start to look for work, said Lance Holbrook, a veterans representative at the One-Stop Career Center in Lancaster. Many went into service straight out of high school, and although they may have experience fixing airplanes or leading people, they don’t have the college degrees that employers are seeking, Holbrook said. “Most employers won’t even consider them without a degree,” said Holbrook, who said he’s seen a surge in newly returned veterans looking for jobs in the last two months.

Unemployment among veterans could rise even more in upcoming months as more troops return from overseas. President Obama announced plans last month to pull 10,000 troops from Afghanistan by year’s end and a total of 33,000 by September 2012. And the number of U.S. troops in Iraq is about 46,000 now, down from the peak of 166,000 in 2007. Most of the remaining troops will leave Iraq by year’s end.

The organization Helmets to Hardhats, which saw its funding sharply curbed after the arrival of the 112th Congress, attempts to place former soldiers in to the construction industry. Upcoming H2H events will be in San Diego, CA and Sierra Vista, AZ.

(h/t C&L)


2 Comments on “Joblessness Among Veterans Leaps to 13.3%”

  1. Are there any programs to help vets get into more stable industries than construction?

  2. […] cuts in Social Security. Meanwhile, there are still 5 unemployed people for every available job. 13% of veterans are unemployed (support the troops?). Jeff Immelt (the CEO of GE, and Obama’s […]

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