A healthy economy and series of initiatives by the federal government and the private sector over the past decade aimed at helping employer recognize the benefits of hiring former service members have made a big difference in the job outlook for veterans. The unemployment rate for veterans now stands at 2.9 percent, below the overall unemployment rate of 3.7 percent.
Several factors contributed to the improved prospects for veterans, Mike Starich, CEO of Orion Talent, told the Arizona Republic. One was Joining Forces, the campaign launched by former first lady Michelle Obama which triggered a variety of corporate and nonprofit efforts to hire veterans and military spouses. “That got a lot of buy-in from companies,” Starich said. A separate initiative prohibiting federal contractors from discriminating against protected classes of veterans and requiring them to recruit and hire recently discharged military personnel also made a difference.
Some veterans, including former enlisted personnel who lack college degrees, continue to face challenges after separating from the military, according to the story. Service members with military-connected physical or emotional disabilities also are struggling.
On this Veterans Day, On Base salutes all who served this nation, and their families who served right beside them. Thank you for your courage, sacrifice and dedication to the nation.
Arizona Republic photo by Tom Tingle