Military Spouses Face Higher Unemployment Rate, Congressional Report Finds

At 15 percent, the unemployment rate for military wives in 2010 was more than twice as high as the rate for their civilian counterparts, according to a new study from Congress’ Joint Economic Committee.

Sen. Bob Casey (D-Pa), the committee’s chairman, released the report Tuesday to build support for legislation he introduced that would offer a tax credit to any military spouse who needs to renew or transfer a professional license following a change in their family’s duty station. The requirement for spouses in many fields to renew their state certification or license after they move is both expensive and time-consuming. Casey also sent a letter to Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.) and Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) urging them to take up the measure, S. 697.

“This tax credit recognizes that a working military spouse should not be unfairly penalized due to the requirements of the military lifestyle,” Casey’s letter stated.

In addition to the elevated unemployment rate, the report cited other figures that highlight the challenges military spouses face. For example, only 50.5 percent of military wives participated in the labor force in 2010, while 73.3 percent of civilian wives participated that year.

Read the story from KDKA Channel 2.

Dan Cohen
Dan Cohen

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