12 years of the Afghanistan War and the end of the Iraq War has brought thousands of men and women home, looking for work and enrolling in college. Recently, on MSNBC, a piece titled “Why Microsoft hires war veterans (http://money.cnn.com/video/technology/2012/05/04/t-f500-microsoft-military.fortune/” Joe Wallis, Microsoft’s military recruiter, says “leadership skills, discipline on the job, adaptability and flexibility in a very fast moving environment that the military deal with on a daily basis. These are the intangibles that veterans can bring to Microsoft.”
Though Microsoft is representing a current trend of big corporations looking to hire veterans as they discharge from the military, the unemployment rate for veterans is still astronomically high. As of March of this year, unemployment rates for veterans from the Bureau of Labor across the board were 9.6%. When the statistics were broken down into age groups, the largest group, 20-24 year old veterans had an unemployment rate of 36%.
The high unemployment rate possibly could be linked to no college degree, not looking for work, or current enrollment in an institution. Still, corporations have put out ad campaigns such as Disney claiming they hire heroes and Verizon looking to add close to 1000 veterans to the company. But veterans coming home from multiple tours in the Middle East are still looking for work. So is America really hiring veterans? Or are they hiring veterans that meet their requirements for jobs?
This is part 1 of a weekly series about veterans and today’s job market.