For years, the economic downturn created some rather difficult labor conditions for millions of Americans to deal with, but those worries have slowly gone away over time thanks to slow but steady recovery. However, this may not have been the case for veterans of the most recent wars in the Middle East.
That group, specifically, had an unemployment rate of 7.2 percent in 2014 – the most recent full year for which data was available – about one-fifth above the 6 percent unemployment rate for non-veterans, according to the Deseret (Utah) News. This was particularly troublesome for women who served in these conflicts, who were unemployed at a rate of 8.5 percent, compared to 6.9 percent for men.
"If you served for four years as an infantryman or driver, it may be difficult for you to see a future in the financial industry or as a mechanic," Kim Morton, a spokesperson for a nationwide veteran's initiative, told the newspaper. "In 2014, roughly 53 percent of post-9/11 veterans dealt with a period of unemployment in their first 15 months out of uniform. Some of those veterans found work only to leave the job within their first year."
Moreover, though, many veterans who have jobs often struggle with underemployment, and others believe that they are overqualified for the work they are doing, the report said. About 1 in 3 respondents to a recent study said that they are dissatisfied with their current work situations for the latter reason.
However, many groups exist to help veterans deal with the rigors of civilian life, and often that kind of assistance is just a phone call or email away. The benefits for veterans these organizations provide may not always be apparent, but they're often relatively easy to find.