Ahead of Election Day, 10% Unemployment Among New Veterans

Ahead of Election Day, 10% Unemployment Among New Veterans

CONTACT: Christina Kim (212) 982-9699 or press@iava.org

Friday, Nov. 2, 2012
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Ahead of Election Day, 10% Unemployment Among New Veterans 

In the wake of Sandy, candidates fail to adequately address veteran unemployment 

NEW YORK (Nov. 2, 2012) — The Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) reported today that joblessness for post-9/11 veterans is at 10%, still two percentage points higher than the rest of the country. Iraq and Afghanistan Veterans of America is deeply concerned that without support or attention from political leaders, our country’s 2.4 million troops are left unsupported to find meaningful employment as they transition home from service. 

“America’s veterans deserve better. They are coming home from war, having bravely served their country, and America’s politicians are simply not showing up to help them be successful in the civilian workforce,” IAVA Founder and CEO Paul Rieckhoff said. “An unemployment rate of 10% for post-9/11 veterans is unacceptable. As a nation we’ve invested billions in making our men and women in uniform the best trained in the world. But with fewer and fewer Americans serving, the civilian workforce does not have the institutional knowledge to understand how valuable our veterans truly are,” Rieckhoff added. 

“Especially in the wake of Hurricane Sandy, America needs to be conscious of the strain on veterans, guardsmen and active duty service members and their families. According to the VA, there are over 177,000 new vets in New York and over 78,000 in New Jersey. Thousands are now activated with their National Guard units, others are on a third deployment to Afghanistan and still more are transitioning home – now with unforeseen home repair costs and emotional burden. Now is the time for America to open its eyes, step up and welcome these families into our homes, businesses and communities. They need us more than ever.”

As VA hospitals in many areas remain closed, IAVA is tracking Hurricane Sandy’s impact on our community and posting resources for veterans and families here. IAVA caseworkers are also supporting vets across the tri-state area. 

IAVA programs have also helped hundreds of veterans get back to work and find unemployment support after their service. Innovative job fairs with partnerships like Ad Week, career-training workshops in San Francisco’s Fleet Week, and partnerships with companies ranging from McKinsey to PIMCO are making a significant impact and establishing models for replication.

Last month, IAVA released a voter guide to educate voters on the most pressing challenges facing Iraq and Afghanistan veterans. The guide outlines clear steps for all political candidates to support America’s New Greatest Generation to combat unemployment and other critical issues. IAVA advocates also continue to push for solutions from Congress on Capitol Hill. Read more about IAVA’s employment policy work here.

To arrange an interview with IAVA’s Founder and CEO Paul Rieckhoff, Chief Policy Officer Tom Tarantino or an unemployed IAVA Member Veteran, please contact us at (212)-982-9699 or press@iava.org.

Iraq and Afghanistan Veterans of America (www.IAVA.org) is the nation’s first and largest nonpartisan, nonprofit organization representing veterans of Iraq and Afghanistan, has more than 200,000 Member Veterans and civilian supporters nationwide. IAVA recently received the highest rating — four-stars — from Charity Navigator, America’s largest charity evaluator.


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