Military spouses are disproportionately employed in occupations that require a license, potentially adding an extra hurdle to their challenge of finding new employment following a move across state lines, according to a new report by the White House Council of Economic Advisers. The Bureau of Labor Statistics estimates that 22 percent of all workers required a government license to do their job in 2016, while 35 percent of military spouses worked in occupations requiring a license or certification. The study also found that military spouses earn on average $12,374 less per year than their non-military spouse peers, although much of the disparity can be explained by differences in hours worked. … The Army’s top leaders and lawmakers discussed options to ease the barriers facing military spouses looking for employment, during a hearing Tuesday of the Senate Defense Appropriations Subcommittee. The service is considering a plan to extend soldiers’ assignments beyond three years as a way to limit the number of times families are forced to move, said Chief of Staff Gen. Mark Milley. Such a change may not work for officers, though, as it would limit opportunities to advance their careers, reported Military.com. Secretary Mark Esper pointed to the protracted timeline for hiring civilians, including spouses, for on-base jobs as one factor. Currently it takes an average of 140 days, “which is unacceptable. So I am taking a number of initiatives at my level to reduce that,” Esper said.
Air Force photo by Staff Sgt. Jensen Stidham