WASHINGTON, D.C. - U.S. Senator Amy Klobuchar (D-MN), Vice Chair of the U.S. Congress Joint Economic Committee (JEC), today released a new report examining veterans’ employment and exploring strategies for helping more returning service members make smooth transitions into the workforce. The report finds that the employment situation for veterans has improved overall and highlights the need to continue to boost job training and help veterans use the skills they learned in the military to get good jobs when they return home.
“There wasn’t a waiting line when our veterans signed up to serve our country and there shouldn’t be a waiting line for decent jobs when they get home,” Klobuchar said. “We need to focus on building job opportunities for veterans by improving training and ensuring these men and women can make a smooth transition into good jobs when they return home.”
The unemployment rate for veterans in 2012 was 7 percent, lower than the non-veteran unemployment rate of 7.9 percent and lower than the recent high for veteran unemployment of 8.7 percent in 2010. Today’s report shows that while post-9/11 veterans faced a higher overall unemployment rate of 9.9 percent in 2012, their rate has fallen at a faster clip than that of nonveterans.
Today’s report outlines the need to focus on strategies to continue to help veterans transition their military experience into civilian jobs, including increased skills training and educational opportunities as well as efforts to streamline the process for obtaining certain certifications and occupational licenses. Additionally, the report stresses the need to ensure returning veterans have access to job search and resume-writing assistance.
Klobuchar has long championed policies to help veterans successfully transition the skills they learned on the battlefield into good-paying civilian jobs. She authored legislation, passed into law last year, to streamline the process for receiving a commercial driver’s license, as well as introduced the Veterans to Paramedics Act, legislation making it easier for veterans who trained as paramedics in the military to earn credentials as emergency medical technicians.
Klobuchar introduced the bipartisan Post-9/11 Veterans Job Training Act to allow veterans to use their GI Bill benefits for job training and apprenticeship programs, provisions that went into effect in 2011. Also in 2011, Klobuchar helped pass the VOW to Hire Heroes Act into law, legislation promoting the hiring of unemployed veterans by requiring separating service members to participate in career training programs and providing a tax credit to employers who bring unemployed veterans into their workforce.
The full report can be found here.