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Report: Veteran Unemployment Rate Tops 12 Percent

But some are saying it is even higher among younger veterans returning from wars in Iraq and Afghanistan.

A recent report by the Bureau of Labor Statistics shows the unemployment rate among Iraq and Afghanistan war veterans is slightly higher than 12 percent, but some are saying it is likely even higher.

"That's probably way too low," said Steven M. Botello, post service officer for Veteran of Foreign Wars Post # 7589 in Manassas.

He said veterans coming back from the recent wars in Iraq and Afghanistan are much younger and are returning to a "buyers market" when it comes to finding jobs.

He said the current economic climate also allows employers to be more pointed in who they want to hire. He said many times an employer will pass up a verteran to hold out for a candidate who posseses the skills and educational background they feel is necessary to accomplish the job and maintain the business's bottome line. 

Botello said about six years ago job applicants would encounter four or five job offers right out of college, but that is not the case anymore. This highlights the struggle for everyone—not just veterans—to find a job, he said.

Botello, who has been working with veterans for about 20 years, said he is seeing "a broad breath" of vets seeking help for financial obligations.

"I just met with someone over 50 years of age looking for help," Botello said.

Botello, who served in the Gulf War, said he comes in contact with vets on a daily basis who are seeking job/employment information. "I was among veterans looking for work in 2009-2010 after my business began to wind down," Botello said. "I am the most qualified guy to help."

Botello said that as a service officer for VFW Post 7589 he relays job fair and resume information, among other things to assist vets in the job hunting process. Some of them just need to know what to do and where to look, he said.

The percentage of veterans to the overall population in the U.S. is at its lowest at just one or two percent, Botello said. "There's a huge disconnect between vets and non-veterans in this country," he said. "Employers are not looking to hire vets, they are looking for skills, education and meeting their bottom line."

The overall veteran unemployment rate came in at 8.3 percent, which is about the same as the national average, according to the recent report.

For more information about veteran's services in our area, call the VFW Post #7589 at (703) 361-5554.

robertzwilliams March 31, 2012 at 09:08 AM
When it comes to unemployment it’s been a tale of two recessions, with level of education playing an unprecedented role in whether you’ve been pink slipped or not. Getting a degree from High Speed Universities is the only solution
keta March 31, 2012 at 12:15 PM
As a veteran I found it easy for me to find a job within 6 months. I network my butt off, went to every jobfair their were, I also posted my resume on every website their were.....
estenan white April 02, 2012 at 01:45 AM
The reason the unemployment rate is so high is because the average toothless fuck that works at wal mart will never be able to experience let alone handle my life for one week. We are the educated and the physically fit. Why would we settle?
estenan white April 02, 2012 at 01:46 AM
Id rather be jobless. Lol
Adam Sanchez April 10, 2012 at 06:49 AM
To hear about the jobless rate being 'low', somewhere around~8.5%, does not adequately count those no longer looking. The real unemployment rate is~15% and amongst Veterans am sure that it is over 20%! This is very disappointing, because these good folks have given so very much only to return to so very little. Veterans need to start with Veteran only job boards and communities, such as the American Legion, VFW Posts, and American Corporate Partners, because they have the Veteran’s needs close at heart, and not looking to merely fill a vacancy, like the average recruiter. However, once their resumes get refreshed and they understand the conversion from military terms to the jargon of the current job market, Veterans need to get out there and NETWORK! The current market, and as the post rightly mentioned, only~1% of the population commit to our ‘all volunteer’ military. We at Siemens actively seek out hiring Veterans, because they engender the best of America: commitment; discipline; responsibility; and the selfless nature that they possess. The fact that so many are without jobs means that they must work to aid each other even more, current and past Veterans. Never just settle, continue to be the hard-chargers you are, and stay true to the time-honored tradition and values forged through dedication and determination that I feel only a few in a hundred civilians possess. EDUCATION! “All gave some, some gave all” Regards, Adam adam.sanchez@siemens.com

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