The unemployment rate for Iraq and Afghanistan-era veterans is a staggering 15.2 percent, up from just 6.1 percent in 2007.
Between the challenges of transitioning to civilian life and the struggling American economy, new veterans are facing an uncertain economic future. That means hundreds of thousands of unemployed Iraq and Afghanistan veterans who served and sacrificed for our country rely on savings and unemployment checks to make ends meet and support their families.
Veterans have the skills, determination, discipline and talent to succeed in the twenty-first century economy, but they face unique challenges in translating that skill set to the civilian workforce. 60 percent of employers today do not have a complete understanding of the qualifications veterans offer their companies. As a result, separated service members with college degrees are earning on average $10,000 less per year than their nonveteran counterparts.
Thousands of these highly qualified veterans have difficulties landing interviews, while others face blatant job discrimination from the stigma of mental health injuries.
As a nation, we can do better.
We need to address the skyrocketing unemployment rate for the men and women who have put their lives on the line for our country. To do so, Congress must pass a comprehensive jobs package which includes legislation to create jobs and give veterans the marketable skills to succeed in the civilian workforce.
Join the Fight to End Unemployment for New Veterans. No veteran should come home from combat to an unemployment check and an empty bank account. With your help, we will work to ensure every single returning veteran has a job.