Veterans Unemployment Rate Improves Again In July

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Veterans Unemployment Rate Improves Again In July

The job outlook for Iraq and Afghanistan veterans continues to brighten as the unemployment rate for the group fell for the sixth month in a row.

The unemployment rate for veterans who entered service after Sept. 11, 2001, fell to 8.9 percent in July, down from 9.5 percent the previous month and from 12.4 percent in July 2011, according to the latest monthly employment report released Friday by the Labor Department’s Bureau of Labor Statistics.

Veterans of all generations also saw a sharp drop in their unemployment rate: the overall veterans jobless rate was 6.9 percent, down from 7.4 percent in June and 8.6 percent a year ago.

The national unemployment rate remained almost unchanged at 8.3 percent, up a tick from 8.2 percent in June.

But the economy added roughly 163,000 payroll jobs in July, more than twice the amount it added in June.

The drop in unemployment for veterans comes as corporations such as Goodyear, as well as the rail and mining industries, have pledged to hire veterans. The federal government also continues its push to expand opportunities for former service members.

The Health and Human Services Department announced Thursday a $2.3 million grant program to train physician assistants and help veterans transition from military to civilian PA jobs when they leave the service. The funds were awarded to 12 institutions to support educational programs to train PAs.

And on Wednesday, Interior Secretary Ken Salazar and Lt. Gen. Jeffrey Talley, chief of the Army Reserve, signed an agreement to broaden job opportunities for reservists in the nation’s parks and outdoor spaces managed by Interior.

House Veterans’ Affairs Committee Chairman Rep. Jeff Miller, R-Fla., said Thursday he will also push for extension of tax credits for companies who hire veterans. The incentives are set to expire at the end of the year.

“I think it will be easy to extend them,” Miller told Bloomberg News.

By Patricia Kime, Staff writer
August 3, 2012

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