Transitioning service members and veterans are showing greater confidence in their abilities, a feeling that is shared by employers, according to the results of the latest Veterans Talent Index, a survey sponsored by Monster and Military.com.
“Generally, the process of changing attitudes and building confidence in a population tends to be slow,” said Greg Smith, president of Military.com. “However, in four short years, both employers and veterans have done so with great results. Veteran unemployment is down and confidence in their ability to achieve success in the civilian sector is up, thanks to the tireless efforts of many,” Smith said.
Employers are hiring veterans because they are the best qualified candidates and because of their prior work experience, not because they served in the military, according to the report. In addition, a growing number of employers, 88 percent, say that veterans’ skills are relevant to a civilian career.
The survey also revealed that location could influence a veteran’s chances of finding a job. The best veteran employment rates are in Ohio, Virginia and Texas, while veteran unemployment rates in Mississippi, Louisiana, South Carolina, Ohio and Connecticut are lower than non-veteran rates in those same states.
The report showed that veterans desire to further their skill sets through on-the-job training or enrolling in a college or advanced degree program. Eighty-three percent of those surveyed indicated they planned to use their GI Bill benefits to assist in paying for further education.
Despite improvements in veteran employment, gaps remain in companies’ veteran retention programs, translating military skills to civilian ones and transferring military credentials to civilian occupations, according to the report.
“Before we declare victory, we still have much to do. Unemployment among our youngest veterans, 18-24 years old, is still stubbornly high at over 18 percent; female veteran unemployment is higher than that of their male counterparts; and one out of every three veterans returns to civilian life with a service-connected disability,” Smith said.