There are two sets of numbers that tell a very upsetting story of the American economy today.
According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the unemployment rate for young people under the age of 24 is roughly twice the rate for people 25 and over. For young men, the rate is more than double, for women a little less that twice that for Americans over 25.
But, the BLS says, when it comes to young veterans who served after 2001, the unemployment rate is about 25% higher than for young people who did not serve.
For a lot of reasons, most experts believe these numbers are not strictly accurate, but most of these experts believe they tend to understate reality.
There are a lot of reasons for these disturbing statistics, the slow, uneven national recovery from the economic crash of 2008 which occurred just as the bulk of Gulf War 2 veterans were mustering out, the particular squeeze on public-sector hiring, the very sector where a disproportionate number of veterans do find work, the unprecedented levels of physical and psychological disability found in veterans of our most recent war.
The net-net of all this is a heart-breaking irony: the very people who risked life and limb in the national interest in Iraq and Afghanistan and in support roles back home are having the hardest time finding work, much less job satisfaction or incomes that will allow them to start or support a family.
“Report: Despite hiring efforts, veterans face employment obstacles and civilian disconnect” – Stars and Stripes
“Is Enough Being Done to Prepare Veterans for Civilian Jobs?” – U.S. News & World Report