“Service Before Self:” Why Is the Veteran Unemployment Rate So High?

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Why Is the Veteran Unemployment Rate So High?

Veterans have an arsenal of valuable skills, yet veteran unemployment rates are disproportionately high. We shed light on the possible reasons why.

When veterans come back from serving their country, they face a disproportionately high possibility of unemployment. The veteran unemployment rate, for instance, was 5.6% in October.  

Especially in the midst of a pandemic, the unemployment rate is likely to keep soaring, making this an even bigger issue. 

Despite their noble sacrifice for the country, the number of jobless veterans only continues to increase. These are the possible reasons why.

1. Challenge of Translating Experiences

Military experience is rarely ever relevant for a civilian job.

Many veterans join the army right out of school, so they don’t always have the applicable work experience that many companies would actively look for. It is difficult to relate their military achievements such as winning medals or performing acts of courage to the normal requirements of a desk job. 

2. Lack of Certification or Degrees

Most jobs these days require a worker to be certified and to have gone through some tertiary education that provides them with a relevant degree.

With many soldiers leaving after high school, this forms a gap and reduces their qualifications for lots of job openings. Even if they have the necessary skills, the lack of proof that they have gone through the necessary training and education will deter a lot of employers.

3. Disabilities, Both Physical and Psychological

As unfortunate and unfair as it sounds, disabilities do drive up veteran unemployment. Serving in wars or conflict zones can result in physical harm or psychological trauma, and these conditions may hinder a veteran from being able to function in the workplace. Stress can also result from needing to adapt to a relatively peaceful society. 

4. Lack of Purpose in Careers

Out on the battlefield, soldiers know that their every action matters and that their success will represent the success of their country. This sense of purpose may be absent in normal careers, preventing them from achieving satisfaction by working. This means they may move between jobs more often, and the lack of motivation may hinder their productivity.

5. Harmful Stereotypes

The above reasons may not be present in a veteran, but employers will likely expect these difficulties to arise. These stereotypes prevent veterans from getting hired, even when they are fully adapted to society. The expectation that something will go wrong works in their favor.

Can Veteran Unemployment be Improved?

Despite the potential difficulties that a veteran may face in adjusting to a different working environment, veterans can make exceptionally good employees given time. They are used to following instructions and to have success at the forefront of their minds.

They will also have a different set of skills that may prove to be very useful in the workplace.

How We Can Help

Veteran unemployment is an unfortunate situation, especially considering the sacrifices that the military has made on behalf of the entire country. There should be a greater attempt to reach out to veterans and to bridge the gap that prevents them from achieving employment.

If you are a veteran and are looking for a job, we can help. Contact us today.