Veteran unemployment rate remains highNationally and in Wisconsin, the unemployment rate for veterans is higher than the general population.
By: Shamane Mills, Wisconsin Public Radio, Superior Telegram
Nationally and in Wisconsin, the unemployment rate for veterans is higher than the general population. And more soldiers could be returning home looking for jobs as 10,000 troops are withdrawn from Afghanistan by the end of this year.
The jobless rate for all military vets has been on the rise. In June it was over 13 percent. And the Bureau of Labor Statistics says for the youngest vets, it’s even higher, at 28 percent or three times the general unemployment rate.
Wisconsin shows similar trends, especially among vets age 18 to 24, says Ken Grant, director of veterans services for the state Department of Workforce Development.
"With the younger generation, if you don't have a college degree or that additional education, it is much tougher in today's world for employers to consider you,” says Grant. “Now veterans do bring back a lot of skills … team work, being put under pressure."
Grant says many veterans are going back to school under Wisconsin's GI bill. For those looking for employment, he says local job centers can help prepare applicants.
"Many of them don't know how to prepare a resume so we have skilled individuals that are trained in that,” he says. “We can also provide 'mock interviews' which is also a challenge for vets."
The state has held nine of 14 job fairs for veterans this year. Grant says Wisconsin is also the first state in the Midwest to start an apprentice program for vets to learn welding. If they complete the 20-week program, they're guaranteed a job somewhere in the U.S.