VETS News Release: [03/20/2013]
Contact Name: Michael Volpe or Egan Reich
Phone Number: (202) 693-3984 or x4690
Release Number: 13-0529-NAT
Statement by acting Secretary of Labor Seth D. Harris regarding BLS report on employment among veterans
WASHINGTON Acting Secretary of Labor Seth D. Harris issued the following statement on today's release of 2012 veterans' employment data by the Bureau of Labor Statistics:
"Today's veterans' employment report from the Bureau of Labor Statistics shows promising signs that post-9/11 veterans are finding and keeping jobs in larger numbers as our overall economy continues its steady recovery. But it also makes clear that we must continue to use every tool available to honor their sacrifice by helping veterans find opportunities to succeed in good middle-class jobs.
"The report shows a significant decline in the unemployment rate for veterans overall from 8.3 percent in 2011 to 7.0 percent in 2012. Post-9/11 veterans saw an encouraging decline to 9.9 percent in 2012 from 12.1 percent in 2011. Other categories also saw improvements. Recent broad-based gains in the overall economy have helped to drive down these rates as we continue adding jobs at a steady pace, but support services that address the unique challenges faced by veterans are essential to improving upon today's positive report.
"The Obama administration is deeply committed to ensuring the well-being of America's veterans, transitioning service members and military families. Assuring veterans a pathway to good jobs is a critical element of that commitment. First lady Michelle Obama and Dr. Jill Biden have demonstrated a tireless dedication to veterans through the Joining Forces Initiative which is securing commitments from thousands of private employers who recognize that veterans bring unique skills and leadership to their workplaces, and for a lift to their bottom lines.
"The Veterans' Employment and Training Service at the Labor Department is the lead government agency dedicated to veterans' employment. VETS serves hundreds of thousands of veterans and transitioning service members each year. In addition, programs like My Next Move for Veterans, the Transition Assistance Programs and the Veterans Gold Card provide enhanced employment services to veterans and transitioning service members, and give targeted support in education and training that will help us reduce the unnecessarily high unemployment rates among younger veterans and female veterans.
"While this morning's report shows that we are moving in the right direction on reducing unemployment among America's veterans, much more needs to be done to ensure that no veteran struggles to find work after serving honorably to keep us safe and secure."