It may or may not come as a surprise to you that the unemployment rate for veterans is higher than the national average. The unemployment rate for veterans ages 18-24 is in fact much higher than the national average: according to a recent study, nearly 1 in 4 18-24 year old veterans are out of work. Unfortunately, there are often obstacles to them finding jobs. Between 50-60% of employers say there are negative stereotypes surrounding hiring veterans, most of which has to do with fears of hiring workers that may have post-traumatic stress disorder. That said, nearly 70% of employers who do hire veterans say they make excellent job candidates—they demonstrate purpose and leadership skills and are often highly motivated. Some say that Veterans also are often “multipliers” in the workplace, meaning that they not only bring their own excellent work ethic, but that they positively impact the work ethic and attitude of their fellow workers. This and more and more evidence has begun to surface that hiring veterans is actually not only good for veterans, but good for businesses and the economy as well.
While negative stereotypes and fears are very real obstacles for veterans and employers both to overcome, they are by no means insurmountable. For one, the “Vow to Hire Veterans” government act provides businesses tax incentives for hiring veterans. Having such a visible incentive to the bottom line is one clear way that businesses benefit from hiring veterans. However, businesses benefit from hiring veterans in much deeper ways than simply their taxes.
Veterans returning to civilian life often do have a difficult time transitioning from their military experiences. However, with support and the right opportunities in the workforce, they often thrive and provide invaluable contributions wherever they apply their skills after their service. While obstacles and stereotypes remain for veterans to overcome, the good news is that now many of the leading companies in the US have begun recognizing the value that veterans can add to their workforce.
Some companies have begun to demonstrate a commitment to hiring veterans through programs like the 100,000 Jobs Mission. Led by JP Morgan Chase, the 100,000 Jobs Mission is a coalition of leading US companies committed to finding jobs for veterans. Their goal is to have assisted in the hiring of 100,000 veterans by 2020. As of June 30, 2012, over 18,000 veterans had found jobs through this program.
Helping find good opportunities in the workforce for veterans is not only a way to honor veterans for their service to our country, it’s an excellent economic decision as well—one that benefits businesses and veterans alike.
This post is sponsored by Chase — a strong supporter of the 100,000 Jobs Mission, a program that helps find jobs for veterans of the US armed forces.