Young vets unemployment inches downward
Published: June 4, 2010
Here’s some encouraging news out of the Bureau of Labor Statistics this morning: The unemployment rate for May dropped slightly to 9.7 percent (from 9.9 the month before) but the rate among recently returned Iraq and Afghanistan veterans fell even more sharply, down from 13.1 percent in April to 10.6 percent last month.
But Department of Labor officials are warning that improvement may be short lived. Of the 431,000 new jobs created in May, more than 95 percent of those are temporary positions hired to work on Census 2010. So many of the young veterans who found work in May might only be employed for a few more weeks or months (although every paycheck helps).
The overall unemployment rate among all veterans now sits at 7.8 percent, well below the general population. But younger veterans still struggle to find jobs after they leave the service, or often delay entry into the workforce while they readjust to civilian life after overseas tours.
Lawmakers and veterans groups have made unemployment among “Gulf War II” veterans a focus in recent months, but the number of returning veterans looking for work still sits near 185,000, more people than are currently deployed in Iraq and Afghanistan.