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Despite Reports, Unemployment Is Still A Major Issue For Veterans
Recently, The Los Angeles Times published an article by Alan Zarembo that stated high veteran unemployment appears to be a thing of the past. This is patently untrue both nationally and in the Los Angeles area. As the executive director of the Call of Duty Endowment, a nonprofit that has funded the placement of over 17,400 veterans into high-quality jobs, I work daily with organizations in the veteran employment space. We don’t see their unemployment waning.
In fact, 30% of our partners report that they have waitlists for their services, even in the face of expanding capabilities.
The Bureau of Labor Statistics’ monthly unemployment numbers that Zarembo cites simply don't reflect reality. Its methodology for obtaining data on veterans is deeply flawed, as it doesn’t count people who have not looked for a job in the last four weeks or people who work part time and are underemployed.
Jim Clifton, the CEO of Gallup, calls this “the Big Lie,” and he’s right — we have a bigger unemployment problem than the government realizes, and the situation with veterans is even worse. As Clifton pointed out, if a person accepted $20 in the last week for mowing someone’s lawn, the government considers them employed. I think we can all agree that no one can live on $20 per week.
The way the Bureau of Labor Statistics attempts to describe veterans within their statistics is also problematic. The monthly numbers they report are highly erratic and not designed to representatively sample the veteran population. Nor are they seasonally adjusted, which calls into question their validity. Even the Bureau’s much ballyhooed annual veteran’s unemployment report — published in March each year and containing more in-depth questions of the vets they capture — is also not designed from the ground up to sample a representative veteran population.
What I can say with confidence is, in surveying the nonprofits we fund who served over 20,000 veterans this year, is that one-third had a waiting list for their services despite recent growth in capacity. Additionally, eight of the nine organizations have seen an increase in demand for their services this year. Keep in mind that this is only nine nonprofits and only counts those veterans walking in the door asking for help. Moreover, these nine non-profits are a small fraction of the over 26,000 non-profits that GuideStar.org says are serving U.S. veteran populations.
Several local studies show an even more challenging picture. The Center for a New American Security’s study from November shows a 30% unemployment rate among veterans in Western Pennsylvania — a region that contains 1% of the nation’s vets. Furthermore, last year’s LA County Veterans Study by the University of Southern California showed that almost 80% of veterans coming to Los Angeles County — the largest concentration of vets in the nation — went there jobless.
The bottom line is veteran unemployment is a huge national challenge, and this is not the time to declare victory. I hope the next story The Los Angeles Times writes on veteran unemployment more accurately reflects the reality on the ground for our veterans.
The Army is almost doubling its purchase of new bolt-action Precision Sniper Rifles as its primary anti-personnel sniper system of choice, according to budget documents.
Air Force officials are investigating the death of a man near the north gate of the U.S. Air Force Academy on Saturday night after the NHL Stadium Series hockey game between the Avalanche and the Los Angeles Kings, military officials said Sunday.
‘That cavalier misdirection cannot stand’ — Washingtonians ask judge to reduce ‘extremely noisy’ Navy Growler flights
The Citizens of Ebey's Reserve (COER) is asking a federal judge to require the Navy to roll back the number of EA-18G Growler practice flights at Outlying Field Coupeville to pre-2019 levels until a lawsuit over the number of Growler flights is settled.
COER and private citizen Paula Spina filed a motion for a preliminary injunction Thursday.
According to the motion, since March 2019 the Navy has increased the number of Growlers at Naval Air Station Whidbey Island and shifted most of its Growler operations to Outlying Field Coupeville, which is near the Reserve and the town of Coupeville.
"The result is a nearly fourfold increase in Growler flights in that area. Now the overflights subject residents in and near Coupeville to extreme noise for several hours of the day, day and night, many days of the week," said the court document.
A 26-year-old man died after he failed to surface from waters off Molokai while participating in a scuba diving tour over the weekend.
He has been identified as Duane Harold Parsley II and was stationed at Hickam Air Force Base, according to the Maui Police Department.
LOS ANGELES — For decades, Japanese American activists have marked Feb. 19 as a day to reflect on one of the darkest chapters in this nation's history.
On that date in 1942, during World War II, President Franklin Delano Roosevelt authorized the forced removal of over 120,000 Americans of Japanese descent from their homes and businesses.
On Thursday, the California Assembly will do more than just remember.