Unemployment Rate for New Vets Remains Higher Than National Rate

Unemployment Rate for New Vets Remains Higher Than National Rate

CONTACT: Zack Baddorf (212) 982-9699 or press@iava.org

Unemployment Rate for New Vets Holds Higher Than National Rate

New Online ‘Career Pathfinder’ Tool Helps Veterans Translate Skills and Find Work

NEW YORK (March 8, 2013) – The Bureau of Labor Statistics reported today the unemployment rate for Post-9/11 veterans was 9.4 percent in February, which was 1.7 percentage points higher than the rest of the country. To help the 2.5 million veterans of Iraq and Afghanistan transition from combat to career, Iraq and Afghanistan Veterans of America proudly unveiled “Career Pathfinder,” an innovative online employment tool funded by Cisco for returning veterans, in late February.

“Our country’s new veterans are highly trained and highly skilled, yet unemployment is still high,” IAVA’s founder and CEO Paul Rieckhoff said. “Unlike the rising number of suicides and the VA claims backlog, translating military to civilian credentials is an easy fix – and could instantly change the unemployment trend. That’s where IAVA’s Career Pathfinder comes in, matching qualified veterans with veteran friendly employers. Until we get it done for every vet, IAVA will keep up the pressure for our community and we will continue to provide veterans the tools they need to find work.”

Just before IAVA’s Career Pathfinder launched, the White House released a report on the challenges service members, veterans and their spouses face in finding employment. Entitled The Fast Track to Civilian Employment: Streamlining Credentialing and Licensing for Service Members, Veterans, and their Spouses, the report highlights the difficulties in getting military qualifications recognized by civilian certifying agencies and states. It also offers a recap of current efforts at streamlining national and state credentialing.

The report found that thousands of veterans are separating from the military each year with experience in fields that show increasing demand. For example, in 2012, more than 22,000 active and reserve/guard component members worked as truck drivers, with 10,000 of them separating from service that same year. The Department of Labor projects the demand for bus and truck drivers will increase 17 percent by 2020, and the demand for emergency medical technicians (EMTs) and paramedics will increase 33 percent by 2020. Last year, more than 75,000 active and reserve/guard component members worked in healthcare support fields, with 10,000 of them separating that year.

“Hiring veterans isn’t about giving a handout,” Rieckhoff said. “They’re qualified, hard-working and eager to do their part to move this country forward. This White House report only emphasizes that the country needs the skills our vets already have. We need to see increased effort and innovation from all sectors to build policy, programs and tools like Pathfinder that make an impact.”

Funded by Cisco and powered by Futures Inc., IAVA’s new Career Pathfinder website includes thousands of job listings from employers looking to hire veterans, a cutting-edge resume builder, an innovative career mapping tool, a one-of-a-kind military-to-civilian skills translator, and access to IAVA’s best-in-class education and employment programs. IAVA programs have helped hundreds of veterans get back to work and find unemployment support after their service.

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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