U.S. Air Force Senior Master Sgt. Martin Zeigler, Combat Air Forces munitions policy manager at Headquarters Air Combat Command, looks at a flyer advertising a job fair through the Transition GPS
If you served in Iraq or Afghanistan and have found yourself seemingly unable to find work since separation, you’re not alone: Post-9/11 veterans continue to face higher rates of unemployment than both their civilian counterparts and among veterans as a whole, according to a new report from the Bureau of Labor Statistics.
In the month of May, overall veteran unemployment hit a 10-year low at just 3.4%, well below the national unemployment rate of 4.0% reported by the Bureau of Labor Statistics. Among post-9/11 veterans, the unemployment rate spiked to 4.6% from April’s rate 3.9%, the lowest this year.
Source: Bureau of Labor StatisticsCredit: Task & Purpose
“We’re encouraged that the data shows an upward trend in employment status for all veterans,” Joseph Plenzler, director of media relations for the American Legion, told Task & Purpose. “We are concerned about Iraq and Afghanistan veterans unemployability being higher than the rest of the veteran cohort.”
Throughout 2017, post-9/11 veteran employment rates have lagged behind the overall veteran population.
“I think this is another reason why we need make sure that veterans have the transition programs that best suit their lives,” Plenzler added.
According to Plenzler, it’s unclear why this particular generation of veterans faces higher rates of joblessness due to a lack of economic data, but there are some possibilities including homelessness, poverty, and service-connected disability.
But the unemployment gap with other veterans may just indicate that more post-9/11 veterans are still transitioning into the job market than their older counterparts. And while the numbers continues to fluctuate, it is encouraging that that rate has gone down drastically since January’s high of 6.3%.
It helps too that there is no shortage of programs to help veterans, such as the Pentagon-funded Transition Assistance Program, or the tens of veteran service organizations like the American Legion, Iraq and Afghanistan Veterans of America, or Veterans of Foreign Wars. Plenzler also encouraged that to stave off unemployment, Iraq and Afghanistan veterans look into using the Post-9/11 GI Bill for college or vocational training.
It’s worth noting that veterans would prefer to workthan rely on VA unemployment benefits— and when they do find employment, they outearn their non-veteran counterparts by 11%. So even if it takes them a while to find jobs, the ones they’re getting are clearly worth the wait.
Former Marine Commandant Gen. Charles Krulak has issued a statement urging President Donald Trump and members of Congress to oppose pardons for those accused or convicted of war crimes since, he argued, it would "relinquish the United States' moral high ground."
"If President Trump follows through on reports that he will mark Memorial Day by pardoning individuals accused or convicted of war crimes, he will betray these ideals and undermine decades of precedent in American military justice that has contributed to making our country's fighting forces the envy of the world," said Krulak, who served in the Marine Corps for more than three decades before retiring in 1999 as the 31st Commandant.
Editor's Note: The following story highlights a veteran atAssociated Materials. Committed to including talented members of the military community in its workplace, Associated Materials Incorporated is a client of Hirepurpose, a Task & Purpose sister company. Learn more here.
Associated Materials, a residential and commercial siding and window manufacturer based in Ohio, employs people from a variety of backgrounds. The company gives them an opportunity to work hard and grow within the organization. For Tim Betsinger, Elizabeth Dennis, and Tanika Carroll, all military veterans with wide-ranging experience, Associated Materials has provided a work environment similar to the military and a company culture that feels more like family than work.
President Donald Trump will nominate Barbara Barrett to serve as the next Air Force secretary, the president announced on Tuesday.
"I am pleased to announce my nomination of Barbara Barrett of Arizona, and former Chairman of the Aerospace Corporation, to be the next Secretary of the Air Force," Trump tweeted. "She will be an outstanding Secretary! #FlyFightWin"
The Trump administration is trying to assure Congress that it does not want to start a war with Iran, but some lawmakers who fought in Iraq are not so sure.
Acting Defense Secretary Patrick Shanahan and Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff Marine Gen. Joseph Dunford both briefed Congress on Tuesday about Iran. Shanahan told reporters earlier on Tuesday that the U.S. military buildup in the region has stopped Iran and its proxies from attacking U.S. forces, but the crisis is not yet over.
"We've put on hold the potential for attacks on Americans," Shanahan said. "That doesn't mean that the threats that we've previously identified have gone away. Our prudent response, I think, has given the Iranians time to recalculate. I think our response was a measure of our will and our resolve that we will protect our people and our interests in the region."
U.S. Navy/Mass Communication Specialist 1st Class Brian M. Wilbur/Handout via REUTERS
WASHINGTON (Reuters) - President Donald Trump warned on Monday Iran would be met with "great force" if it attacked U.S. interests in the Middle East, and government sources said Washington strongly suspects Shi'ite militias with ties to Tehran were behind a rocket attack in Baghdad's Green Zone.
"I think Iran would be making a very big mistake if they did anything," Trump told reporters as he left the White House on Monday evening for an event in Pennsylvania. "If they do something, it will be met with great force but we have no indication that they will."