Where'd they get that idea?

Matthew Hoy
By Matthew Hoy on February 9, 2008

A Veterans Affairs Dept. report notes that military veterans are having a tough time finding work after being discharged.

Strained by war, recently discharged veterans are having a harder time finding civilian jobs and are more likely to earn lower wages for years due partly to employer concerns about their mental health and overall skills, a government study says.

The Veterans Affairs Department report, obtained Thursday by The Associated Press, points to continuing problems with the Bush administration's efforts to help 4.4 million troops who have been discharged from active duty since 1990.

The 2007 study by the consulting firm Abt Associates Inc. found that 18 percent of the veterans were unemployed within one to three years of discharge, while one out of four who did find jobs earned less than $21,840 a year. Many had taken advantage of government programs such as the GI Bill to boost job prospects, but there was little evidence that education benefits yielded higher pay or better advancement.

The report blamed the poor prospects partly on inadequate job networks and lack of mentors after extended periods in war. The study said employers often had misplaced stereotypes about veterans' fitness for employment, such as concerns they did not have adequate technological skills, or were too rigid, lacked education or were at risk for post-traumatic stress disorder.

Employers worry about vets mental health and fear they are at risk for post-traumatic stress disorder? Where'd they get that idea?

0 comments on “Where'd they get that idea?”

  1. Recently discharged since 1990? I would have thought the Clinton administration would have had everybody employed through 2000 at least.

    Stopping the sarcasm, I would like to know a lot more about this report - specifically the definition of "unemployed." I was overseas and came back to the US and separated from the service immediately. During the time I was interviewing for jobs, I actually received unemployment benefits for a week or two before accepting a position. Would that situation count as unemployed?

    Why $21,840 as a cutoff? It's not an obvious number.

    Lastly, the GI bill reference begs the question. What did they study? Did they graduate? In what field? Signing up for one semester's worth of classes would count as "used the GI Bill" but would probably be perceived as a negative by employers - "attended school but dropped out."


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February 2008



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