The unemployment rate for military spouses is about 26 percent, more than twice the national average, according to Assistant Secretary of Defense for Military Community and Family Policy Robert L. Gordon III. Military spouses also earn about 25 percent less than their civilian counterparts.
In response, the Pentagon initiated the Military Spouse Employment Partnership (MSEP) in June, in an effort to build a network of companies interested in hiring military spouses. The program does not give preferential treatment to military spouses, but rather aims to level the playing field, providing military spouses with more job opportunities.
The program currently has 72 partners with very successful private-sector employers, and MSEP has already helped 5,500 military spouses find jobs.
MSEP focuses on finding careers and jobs that accommodate the lives of military spouses—including jobs that are transferable across the nation. Companies benefit by hiring military spouses because, compared to their civilian counterparts, they tend to be more highly educated, enjoy working in diverse environments and are excellent team players, stated Gordon.
The MSEP website currently has 55,000 jobs posted. The program is expecting to reach 96 partners by early October. Additional information about MSEP can be found on the program’s website.