The Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) recently released its June unemployment numbers. As you may be aware, jobless numbers have been slowly, but steadily, decreasing over the last couple of years. What you may not know is that the unemployment rate for veterans has been much higher than the national average.
Not anymore. It is very encouraging to see the continued progress that has been made on the veteran job front. The overall unemployment rate for veterans currently hovers around 6.3 percent, which is down from 6.6 percent in May!
This number is down over a whole point from June of 2012, which is very good news. Gulf War Era-II veterans, a demographic that has been hit the hardest by the recession, has a current unemployment rate of 7.2 percent—lower than the national average, and an astonishing 2.3 percentage points below June of 2012!
Why is the veteran unemployment trend improving so much? The VA believes much of it has to do with their programs such as Veteran Retraining and Assistance program (VRAP), and initiatives such as Hiring Our Heroes.
Another big part of it is likely the collective agreement of the general public that no matter the issues that we as civilians might be facing, those who have served our country are anything but “average.” Veteran unemployment should never exceed the national average, because veterans—simply put—are exceptional.
There has been a national effort to dispel the erroneous assumptions of veterans returning from combat. Many employers (or at least the smart ones) see the value of hiring veterans. They are incredibly disciplined and hard working. In addition, many nonprofit groups and large corporations have created targeted programs and hiring initiatives.
Though there is much work still to be done, we are uplifted by the improvement. Thousands more veterans have been discovered as the outstanding employees they are. It can’t stay a secret much longer!