Veterans Bring Unique Skills to the Labor Market


z-laborAcross the country, hiring former members of the armed forces has become a key focus for employers of all kinds.
The US Chamber of Commerce Foundation’s “Hire Our Heroes” program aims to have half a million companies commit to hiring veterans by the end of this year. To date, more than 2,000 employers in a variety industries have signed onto this commitment: Amazon, Starbucks and Uber among them.
Transitioning the skills and experience gained in military service to corporate life is an obstacle for many veterans. Research on labor market outcomes for Vietnam War era veterans show diminished earnings potential in comparison to their non-veteran counterparts. Gulf War II era veterans, those in the armed forces after September 11, 2001, tend to experience higher rates of unemployment. Bureau of Labor Statistics data from October 2014 report the unemployment rate of Gulf War II era veterans to be 7.2%, compared to the overall US unemployment rate of 5.8%.
Indeed Military, a partner of Joining Forces, enables employers to connect with veterans and military spouses by searching directly on Indeed Resume for military resumes. Once they’ve identified the candidates they’d like to reach out to, they can contact these job-seeking veterans for free. By examining the aggregated, anonymous data from Indeed users with United States Army, Air Force, Coast Guard, Marine Corps or Navy experience on their resume, we can uncover trends in what skills and interests veterans are bringing to the workforce and where those skills align with employer demand.
Technology skills serve veterans well

A look at the types of occupations that veterans click on, parsed out by the Standard Occupation Classification (SOC) categories, reveals that veterans seek to transfer skills and values learned in the military to the civilian labor market. Job postings within Management and Protective Service occupations receive a higher share of clicks to all occupations from veterans compared with the rest of the job seeker population, indicating that many veterans’ intend to continue on in leadership and security roles in civilian life.
The military is often ahead of the curve in technological innovation, and our data show that veterans’ experience in this area often qualifies them for positions in the science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) fields. These positions are often difficult to recruit for and typically stay open much longer than a non-STEM job posting. In our data, Computer and Mathematical; Installation, Maintenance and Repair; and Architecture and Engineering are three of the four occupations in which we see the most significant difference between interest from veterans and all job seekers. These occupations are all STEM-related and typically receive a relatively low amount of clicks in comparison to job postings.
However, Healthcare Practitioners and Technical occupations receive significantly less interest from veterans than all job seekers. This is interesting considering the number of military members who receive medical training in the armed forces and could theoretically transition to a civilian medical occupation with relative ease.

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