This week, military veterans finally received a better crack at getting jobs. High unemployment for veterans has been a perennial problem, for everyone from those who fought in the Gulf War to those who were recently in Afghanistan.
The veterans’ unemployment rate has been dropping, but many are still frustrated as the Guardian explored in a recent package of stories about misunderstood veterans in the job hunt, job tips for them, and the financial snake-oil salesmen who lie in wait for them.
There were 733,000 veterans without jobs in 2013, though the unemployment rate varied by state, “ranging from over 10% in Michigan and New Jersey to under 4% in Delaware, Iowa, North Dakota, Vermont and Virginia,” according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics’ latest measures, which were released in March.
The government has been working on solutions. This week, the Labor Department put into effect new guidelines that required federal contractors – companies that do business with the government – to make veterans around 8% of their workforce and disabled workers around 7% of their employees.
Those companies that do business with the government, known as federal contractors, include some of the biggest names in business, including Boeing, Dell, General Electric, AT&T, UPS and Pfizer among thousands of others.
The Guardian’s package prompted a veteran to describe his extensive job hunt and the lessons he learned from it. Because he cannot speak publicly without endangering his current job, he asked to remain anonymous. We share his impressions here in the belief that they can help other veterans – and their families – understand civilian life and the job hunt.
Job hunting for veterans: ‘My resume went into a black hole’ | theguardian.com