Consumer Comeback Blog

Veteran Unemployment Drops as Companies Boost Recruiting Efforts

September labor statistics reflect a declining unemployment rate among veterans a year after the White House predicted an influx of one million veterans into the workforce over the next five years.

As veterans returning from service in Afghanistan continue to rejoin the American job market, U.S. companies are stepping up to recruit veterans and find more applications for the specialized skills learned in the military, the Wall Street Journal reported.

According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, veterans who have served since Sept. 2001 saw unemployment rate drop from 11.7% in September 2011 to 9.7% in September 2012. Unemployment for veterans is still higher than the 7.4% rate for non-veterans.

Both private companies and government agencies are investing in helping veterans transition back to civilian life and the workplace.

A group of 76 companies including Lockheed Martin and JP Morgan Chase has hired 28,186 veterans since announcing their goal to hire 100,000 veterans by 2020. General Electric has also pledged to hire veterans and is working with the National Association of Manufacturers and the Syracuse University Institute for Veterans and Military Families to offer training programs and promote how military work experience can be more relevant to American employers.

Veterans can also get employment support from the U.S. Chamber of Commerce Hiring Our Heroes job fairs, which have helped more than 10,000 veterans and their spouses find jobs. Those struggling to find work can also apply for the $900 million in unemployment benefits that are specifically earmarked for veterans.