On Thursday March 20th, 2014, the Department of Labor Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) released their “Employment Situation of Veterans – 2013” Here are some of the highlights from that report:
- 60% of unemployed Veterans were age 45 and over,
- Veterans with service-connected disabilities had an unemployment rate of 6.2% in August 2013 compared to the 6.6% rate for Veterans with no disability,
- One in three employed Veterans with service-connected disabilities worked in the public sector compared with one in five Veterans with no disability,
- Unemployment rates were similar for those who were current or past members of the Reserve or National Guard compared with those Veterans who were never members.
Even more encouraging news:
“The unemployment rate for veterans who served on active duty in the U.S. Armed Forces at any time since September 2001–a group referred to as Gulf War-era II veterans–edged down to 9.0 percent in 2013, the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics reported today. The jobless rate for all veterans also edged down to 6.6 percent.”
The data listed by the DOL BLS indicates that employers have been taking advantage of the tax credit opportunities afforded to them by the VOW Act.
Veterans Opportunity to Work to Hire Heroes Act of 2011 (VOW Act)
On November 21st, 2011, President Obama signed the Veterans Opportunity to Work to Hire Heroes (VOW) Act of 2011 into law. There are two tax credits associated with this law:
- · The Returning Heroes Tax Credit is a new hiring tax credit that will provide an incentive for businesses to hire unemployed veterans.
o Short-term unemployed: A new credit of 40 percent of the first $6,000 of wages (up to $2,400) for employers who hire veterans who have been unemployed at least 4 weeks.
o Long-term unemployed: A new credit of 40 percent of the first $14,000 of wages (up to $5,600) for employers who hire veterans who have been unemployed longer than 6 months.
- · The Wounded Warrior Tax Credit will double the existing tax credit for long-term unemployed veterans with service-connected disabilities.
o Maintain the existing Work Opportunity Tax Credit for veterans with service-connected disabilities (currently the maximum is $4,800).
o A new credit of 40 percent of the first $24,000 of wages (up to $9,600) for firms that hire veterans with service-connected disabilities who have been unemployed longer than 6 months.
Aside from the financial benefits, as employers; we must continue to realize the value that our veterans bring to the workforce. I continue to encourage those out there to take the time to reach out to the many veteran affiliated organizations when looking to recruit for openings within your organizations.
There are many tools available to employers that can help translate a veterans experience and how it applies to a civilian setting. O*NET Online is a website that can be of value not only to employers but to veterans as well when looking to determine a correlation between military and civilian roles.
When you are ready to begin recruiting for veterans, here are some resources that can be used:
- ArmyCareerAlumniProgram http://www.acap.army.mil/emp/employer_info.aspx
- ArmyReserveEmployerPartnerInitiative http://www.usar.army.mil/arweb/EPI/Pages/Partners.aspx
- HelmetstoHardhats http://www.helmetstohardhats.org
- Helmets to Hardhats – Wounded Warrior Program http://info.helmetstohardhats.org/content/wounded-warriors/index
- Army / AW2careerprogram@conus.army.mil / | 800.237.1336
- AirForce / firstname.lastname@example.org / 800.581.9437
- Marines / email@example.com / 877.487.6299
- Coastguard & Navy / firstname.lastname@example.org / 877.746.8563