The number of unemployed male veterans drops, female vets still lagging behind though
American businesses are carving out more room for veterans who served in Iraq and Afghanistan − finally driving the overall unemployment rate for that group into single digits in September. But joblessness for the U.S. women home from war continued to climb, the Bureau of Labor Statistics reported Friday.
The portion of post-9/11 veterans seeking work fell to 9.7 percent last month, compared to 10.1 percent in August and 11.7 percent in September 2011, according to BLS figures.
However, nearly one out of five women who served in the military at home or abroad during the two wars is now without a job, the new BLS statistics show. As the U.S. troop drawdown continues in Afghanistan, the unemployment rate for post-9/11 female vets surged to 19.9 percent in September, compared to 14.7 percent a year earlier and 12.1 percent in August.
“More women were deployed than ever before but an awful lot of them are single moms who face the challenge of coming home,” said John E. Pickens III, executive director of VeteransPlus, a nonprofit that has offered financial counseling to more than 150,000 current and former service members.
And while many companies trumpet their patriotic side by plucking male combat veterans and plunking them into corporate roles, women who served with some of those same guys often are not viewed by employers with the same level of admiration, Pickens has been told my some of his female clients. In short: Women who logged time in the war zones don’t earn the same level of prestige - or employability - are do U.S. males who recently were in the line of fire.