Are Employers Discriminating Against Hiring Veterans?


by John Vogel


U.S. Veterans coming home from war are having a much harder time finding jobs than ever before.  There are many reasons that have been brought up by potential employers.  One of the main reasons is the fear of Post Traumatic Stress Disorder.  Another major reason is that many of the soldiers today came straight out of high school, and did not have the continued education that many before them had.  Employers are viewing these Veterans as equal to potential job seekers that did not finish high school.

The current percentage of Veterans coming home that cannot find jobs is 15.2%.  That is 2.6% more this year than what we saw in January of 2010.  The Veteran Unemployment rate is 30% higher than that of the normal unemployment rate amongst Non Veterans.  Furthermore, Veterans who do find jobs are normally paid $ 6,000.00 to $ 10,000.00 less than a Non Veteran.

These numbers are proving that the fears by potential employers are very real.  What these employers fail to realize is that soldiers returning from active duty are tested before being released.  If they show any signs of PTSD, then they are treated for it.  The U.S. Department of Defense claims that 20% of soldiers returning are affected by some form of PTSD.  It’s too bad that they don’t explain how many have been cured or treated successfully.

The fact is that PTSD is not something that is going to affect the worker in the work force.  Most of us have some form of anxiety that we deal with daily and are able to function on a normal level.  There are many Non Veterans that require medication to deal with chemical imbalances or issues with panic disorders.  None of these things affect the performance in a work environment.  So why punish the people who have fought for our country?  These Veterans were placed in harsh environments and subject to extreme stress over the years.  This does not mean that they cannot perform a job to the maximum potential.

Veterans have been taught leadership which is vital in the workforce.  They have been trained to follow orders, work as a team, handle themselves in extremely stressful environment and more dependable.  While it is true that some may have left right after High School, many are still seeking higher education upon their release thanks to government funding.

Also the U.S. Government is giving out tax credits for companies hiring unemployed Veterans who left active duty in the last year.  They give out additional tax credits to companies that hire disabled Veterans.  It is hard to imagine why employers would need any more perks to help out the unemployment rate among our U.S. Veterans.  They deserve to at least be treated equally and if not more so and rewarded for the time they spent defending our country.

If you are a U.S. Veteran who is unemployed then please use your resources to continue your education.  Also use the many websites which are available such as Hire Veterans.  You can upload your resumes and search jobs at no cost.  There are currently 11,000 openings featured on that site, and many of the featured employers are Equal Opportunity Employers.  They are known to hire Disabled Veterans.

If you are a potential employer that would like to be added to our Featured Employers, then please contact me directly at [email protected].

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