Although veterans as a whole have a lower unemployment rate than the nation at large, younger veterans who served in the years following the Sept. 11 attacks are having a much harder time finding work.
The unemployment rate for veterans between 18 and 24 exceeded 20 percent last year. It was also in double digits for those 25-34. The unemployment rate for both age groups was higher than for their nonveteran peers and much higher than the national average.
The job problems for younger vets have continued despite a wide range of private and public efforts. Congress approved tax credits for companies that hire veterans. Federal agencies stepped up their preferential hiring of vets. Many thousands are taking advantage of a generous package of educational benefits instead of entering the job market. Companies such as Wal-Mart, General Electric and many others announced programs designed to hire more veterans. And organizations like the U.S. Chamber of Commerce have helped put on hundreds of job fairs around the company.