Martin C. Evans

Unemployment higher among recent vets

In veterans on February 6, 2010 at 12:22 am

Bad news if you joined the military to get job skills: Unemployment has hit recent vets even harder than it has regular civilians, according to the most recent U.S. Labor Department data .

Although the jobless rate for all Americans edged down to 9.7 percent last month, it was at 12.6 percent for vets who have served since 2001.

Ex-Marine Mike Carrol, 29, and his family were homeless for almost a year until the Manhattan resident got help from a non-profit veterans agency. (Photo: NY Daily News)

The higher-than-average jobless rate for recent vets may be a reflection of the difficulty facing younger job seekers in general. The jobless rate for Americans 20-24 is an above-average 15.8 percent.

Still, that may be little consolation to military recruits who were lured by recruiters’ promises of high-paying job skills, but who now stand in line at unemployment offices.

The jobs picture was particularly bad for women who served post-9/11. Their unemployment rate hit 14.2 percent in January, up from 10.9 percent a year earlier. For men, January’s unemployment rate rose from 8.9 percent last year to 12.6 percent now.

Analysts say military service may make it more difficult for veterans to find work once they return to the civilian world.

They say employers may be wary of hiring personnel who may eventually display antisocial behaviors linked to post traumatic stress disorder. Vets may be hurt by spending years away civilian job networking. And soldiers accustomed to military routine have often chafed in workplace environments where civilian employees seem undisciplined and self-absorbed.

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