Jobless rate still high among young female vets
The unemployment picture for young veterans appears to be improving, but there are still problems, especially for women, according to Friday’s Labor Department employment situation report.
For veterans of all generations, the August unemployment rate was 7.7 percent, with men doing better than women, according to the report. Veterans are doing better than in July, when the unemployment rate was 8.6 percent.
For the youngest generation of veterans — those who have left the service since 2001 — the overall unemployment rate in August was 9.8 percent, dramatically better than the 13.3 percent rate reported in July. But there are big differences between the genders for younger veterans: For men, the unemployment rate was 8.6 percent, while for women it was 16.6 percent.
The Labor Department report showed a very weak economy, with no change in August in the national unemployment rate of 9.1 percent. Average hourly earnings for employees have been on the rise for the last 12 months but fell in August by 3 cents to $23.09 an hour. Over the last year, earnings had increased by about 2 percent.
Wage increases are not enough to keep up with rising prices, the report notes. Over the last 12 months, consumer prices have increased by 3.6 percent.
The House Veterans’ Affairs Committee is expected to pass a comprehensive veterans’ employment bill next week, drawn mostly from an initiative unveiled earlier this year by it chairman, Rep. Jeff Miller, R-Fla., who proposes improvements in military transition programs and in Labor and Veterans Affairs department jobs placement and training programs.
Miller said his goal is to reduce the overall veterans’ unemployment rate to 5 percent or lower within two years.