Thanks to initiatives led by both the public and private sectors, the job market for veterans has steadily improved in recent months. Yet, while the unemployment rate for post-9/11 veterans has fallen below the national average, experts say there is still some work to be done. As thousands of troops prepare to return home from Afghanistan over the next 18 months, it's important that lawmakers do not get complacent, veterans advocates say, according to Military Times.

According to figures from the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the June unemployment rate for post-9/11 veterans was at 7.2 percent. An encouraging figure to be sure, but it does not tell the whole story. Specifically, for servicemembers under the age of 24, the rate was nearly triple that – 20.5 percent. The unemployment rate among National Guard and Reserve members was also considerably higher than the rest of the military population.

"This indicates persistent gaps for members of the Guard and reserve in military skill transferability and civilian skill attainment," Ryan Gallucci of Veterans of Foreign Wars told the news source.

While it may be difficult for servicemembers to translate their skills to the civilian realm, some changes have been made to close this gap. One such program was launched by the U.S. Chamber of Commerce Foundation. Known as the Personal Branding Resume Engine, the website helps veterans sell their military skills to potential employers.