Over the past couple of years, the unemployment rate among veterans has garnered attention and outrage across the country, particularly that among Iraq and Afghanistan combat veterans. The situation for veterans may have begun to improve, but the issue of veterans finding jobs in the civilian sector remains somewhat complex. Many continue to face unique hurdles, but even the numbers are not always indicative of the real situation.
Lt. Col. Laura McHugh, deployment cycle support chief for the Pennsylvania National Guard at Fort Indiantown Gap, recently surveyed 7,000 of the 19,000 total service members of the Pennsylvania National Guard and found a 14-percent unemployment rate.
“The economy is a contributing factor. The better-paying jobs just aren’t there,” McHugh said.
Still, reasons for the high unemployment rates are varied, but one of the most prominent one boils down to communication. Military service members gain valuable experience and skills, but they are not always adept at articulating those qualifications when they apply for a job, advocates say.