Help wanted, help needed : post 9/11 veterans reintegration into the civilian labor market
MetadataShow full item record
Since the terrorist attacks of September 11, 2001, military personnel participating in combat operations in Afghanistan and Iraq have been plagued by traditional barriers to successful labor market attachment such as health and mental health concerns, employer stigma, and difficulty translating military training and experience to the civilian market, but also by a lagging economy. Veteran status since Vietnam has historically been linked to negative employment outcomes over the life course. Currently, the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics reports an unemployment rate of 9.5% for male Iraq and Afghanistan Veterans, and a 12.1% rate for their female counterparts. Veterans aged 20-24 have a 20.1% unemployment rate, nearly five points higher than that of their civilian peers. To compound the problem, an overly passive labor market policy prevents access to education and training that civilian employers value most. As Veterans continue to separate from the armed forces the United States, employers and policymakers can choose to capitalize on their skills, experience, and willingness to serve, or risk alienating another generation of young service members. This paper addresses five key categories that serve as barriers to successful labor market attachment and summarizes both governmental and private-sector programs designed to assist military personnel in their transition to civilian work. Finally, it provides policy options for remedying the post-9/11 Veterans labor market transition problem through improving service coordination and delivery, deliberately developing human capital through military service, and increasing employer responsibility for skill development and labor market attachment.