Hiring Veterans is No Charity Act: It’s Good Business

Based on media coverage, many Americans would be shocked to learn that there is no veterans’ unemployment crisis. But the numbers don’t lie.

In a Bureau of Labor Statistics report issued in July 2015, the national unemployment rate for post-9/11 veterans was 5.4 percent, lower than the unadjusted non-veteran unemployment rate (6.73%). In fact, when it comes to employment and income, veterans as a whole are faring well – employment and earnings are generally comparable to the non-veteran population, or even better among some groups.

Organizations that invest in veteran employees are thriving -- not because they are philanthropic, but because they are making a good business decision. When the Center for a New American Security interviewed leaders at 69 companies, the general consensus was that hiring veterans is one of the best moves a company can make. Employers are hungry to connect with men and women who have been trained from as young as age 18 to be tireless leaders and team players.

But despite this strong support and interest from employers, many veterans initially have a hard time finding civilian jobs because they lack full awareness of the civilian workforce or the support necessary to navigate an open-ended job search. For those searching for a new job, as well as those simply looking to learn about opportunities in their region, veterans job fairs are an important tool:

- Job fairs create awareness, helping veterans looking for jobs to understand what opportunities exist and whether they have the ability and experience to fill available positions.

- They are a chance for veterans to develop social capital, building connections with human resources professionals who view them primarily as potential contributors and revenue generators.

In summary, what veterans need most today is simple: opportunity. And history is on their side: their predecessors who wore a uniform during previous wars developed an impressive record serving as the backbone of American industry and innovation. Today’s veterans worked hard to succeed in the military, and they have much to contribute to the local, state, and national economies.