After "Huge Progress," Veterans Are Still Struggling to Find Employment

Monday, 28 May 2012 09:08 By Amanda Peterson Beadle, ThinkProgress | Report
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An unemployed veteranCpl. Clayton Rhoden, a veteran who is struggling to find employment, in Columbus, Ohio, December 8, 2011. Rhoden is among the legions of veterans who served in combat yet have a harder time finding work than other people their age, a situation that officials say will grow worse as the United States completes its pullout of Iraq. (Photo: Andrew Spear / The New York Times) While the unemployment rate for veterans has dropped dramatically in the last year, two veterans advocates told CNN’s Candy Crowley this morning that finding jobs for veterans remains a major issue. Paul Rieckhoff, founder and executive director of Iraq and Afghanistan Veterans of America, said there has been “huge progress” on helping unemployed veterans because President Obama has instituted policies to reduce veteran unemployment and Fortune 500 companies are also helping returning servicemembers.

The unemployment rate for veterans between ages 18 and 24 is more than 17 percent, down from 29 percent, but Tim Tetz, legislative director of the American Legion, said that younger veterans are still facing a higher unemployment rate than their civilian counterparts, which stands at 15 percent. Older veterans are also struggling to find employment:

TETZ: [O]f the 780,000 veterans who are currently out of a job, two-thirds of them are between the ages of 35 and 64. And they might not have the resources like the GI Bill and many of the other things that these younger veterans have to use.

Obama’s initiatives are helping to improve the jobs outlook for veterans. That’s more than can be said for Mitt Romney, who has no specific plans to address veterans issues, including unemployment.

Originally published on ThinkProgress

Amanda Peterson Beadle

Amanda Peterson Beadle is an editorial assistant at She received her B.A. in journalism and Spanish from the University of Alabama, where she was editor-in-chief of the campus newspaper The Crimson White and graduated with honors. Before joining ThinkProgress, she worked as a legislative aide in the Maryland House of Delegates. In college, she interned at the Scripps Howard Foundation Wire, the Press-Register (Mobile, Alabama), and the Ludington Daily News. She is from Birmingham, Alabama.

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