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Unemployment among young veterans

By Ed O'Keefe

By The Post's Frank Ahrens in his blog, The Ticker:

The first thing we need to do is try to get a handle on unemployment among veterans. The Labor Department's Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) breaks down joblessness among veterans into eras, based on the wars they served in.

As of last month, the overall rate of unemployment for all vets was 8.1 percent, according to the BLS -- actually lower than the national unemployment rate.

But that number is skewed by older veterans who are entrenched in the labor force. The numbers for younger vets is higher.

Breaking down the BLS data:

-- Unemployment among vets of WWII, Korea and Vietnam: 7.6 percent, up from 4 percent in October 2008.

-- Unemployment among vets of Gulf War I (1990-91): 6.1 percent, up from 5.2 percent this time last year.

-- Unemployment among vets of Gulf War II (post-2001 conflicts): 11.6 percent, up from 8 percent this time last year.

Continue reading at The Ticker >>>

By Ed O'Keefe  | November 11, 2009; 3:30 PM ET
Categories:  Workplace Issues  
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It is a sad situation where the government has not developed a program that would enable a combat veteran a transition path to good government jobs. In 1976/1977 the government had such a program. It provided training and skills so the veteran could be successful. Today, no such program exists. Veterans must compete with dependent spouses and contractors for the few jobs that are not filled by military retirees --- when you give a $36,000 a year 40 year old retiree the same 5 or 10 point hiring preference as the young soldier who separated, you create a system that rewards people who have stayed with the “company” --- typically, in DOD, a resume's experience trumps education and youth and the young veteran remains an unemployment statistic... All the while government leadership is lamenting the aging of the federal workforce. It is time to turn the tables and hire the young veteran into upward mobility programs and make military retirees the unemployed statistic.

Posted by: dlk2161 | November 12, 2009 11:28 PM | Report abuse

The statistics you cite are horribly distorted. I am a Vietnam War veteran, who has been looking for a job for more than ten years because I blew the whistle on a $20,000 bribe offer from a Forest Service employee who wanted to hire a less qualified non-veteran. I was blocking the hiring certificate because of my veterans' preference rights. I am highly qualified but will never be hired in the U.S. because of discrimination against veterans, my age, and my complaint about having the civil service selection being rigged by bribery. Except during the first year after I was terminated as a whistleblower, I have not been included in any unemployment statistics, even though being on a federal blacklist prevented me from being hired for any of the many jobs for which I applied. From the number of homeless veterans, I would estimate that I am one of at least 300,000 unemployed veterans who is not even counted among the unemployed in the statistics.

Posted by: cwheckman | November 13, 2009 8:34 AM | Report abuse

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