Life in the military can be difficult enough without having to worry about employment opportunities for a soldier's life after service. Thankfully, several recent statistics point to the beginning of the end for the alarming trend of high unemployment rate among recent and long-time veterans alike.

A helping hand from the private sector
In 2011, a group of 11 companies that included JPMorgan Chase, AT&T, Verizon and EMC announced that they would be partnering to form the 100,000 Jobs Mission in order to hire 100,000 military veterans by the year 2020. According to a press release from the group, the unemployment rate for the U.S. sat at 8.9 percent at the time of the announcement, with the smaller and disproportionately affected sample size of veterans at 9.2 percent.

Just shy of three years since the group's formation, it has met – and surpassed – its goal. The Military Times reported that not only has the group's number of member companies skyrocketed from the original 11 to the current 131, but that they have hired 117,439 veterans in a variety of industries across the country.  The wild success the program has experienced in reaching its goal seven years ahead of schedule prompted the companies to double down on their original pledge.

They now promise to hire an additional 100,000 veterans before the decade is out.

Decreasing numbers, increasing hope
The success of the 100,000 Jobs Mission is indicative of a larger trend within the community of unemployed veterans, both young and old – they are finding jobs.

The unemployment rate for veterans who served after 9/11 hit its high-water mark in January 2012 when the number spiked to 12 percent, according to the Washington Post. A year and a half later in November 2013, the number for overall unemployment had fallen to 6.7 percent and the most recent numbers show a continued decrease to 5.5 for December.

The post-9/11 veteran unemployment numbers may seem more drastic – they fell from 9.9 percent to 7.3 percent from November to December – but with a smaller sample size, the month-to-month statistics of the group will change more rapidly. The Bureau of Labor Statistics recommends looking at the annual figures for the group instead, but even there the news is good: from December 2012 to 2013, the rate dropped 3.5 percentage points.

Where are the jobs coming from?
It can be easy to chalk job growth up to the improving economy, but several key factors have led to more and more veterans finding employment for life after the military. While many companies have been happy to hire combat veterans for their experience and skills, employers and prospective employees alike have found it somewhat difficult to transfer their abilities directly to the civilian workforce.

As the Washington Post explains, "The 10,000 military healthcare workers or 10,000 military truck drivers who left the armed services last year often have to pass new tests and go through a fresh set of licensing hurdles in order to get a job as a civilian EMT or truck driver – even if they already have the required skills."

The licensing requirements are largely bureaucratic but a costly and time-consuming hurdle for many veterans who have already been living off unemployment checks for months. As a result, the White House released a report entitled, "The Fast Track to Civilian Employment," which outlined several measures in which they would streamline the process for veterans to receive workable credentials for skills gained in the military.

In addition, several Congressman have initiated programs such as the Veterans Conservation Corps, which seeks to employ retired military men and women in "wildfire protection, recreation enhancement, and habitat restoration."

With programs along those lines and another 100,000 jobs on the way from successful corporations, expect the unemployment rate among all veterans to decrease well into the future.