Combat vets having tough time in job market

By Rick Maze – Staff writer
Posted : Saturday Sep 12, 2009 16:16:34 EDT

The unemployment rate for Iraq and Afghanistan veterans is 21 percent higher than the rate for all Americans, a sign of trouble for newly separated or retired service members looking for work in a tight job market.   A Labor Department report shows an unemployment rate of 11.3 percent for Iraq and Afghanistan veterans in July, up from 5.9 percent one year ago and well above the 9.7 percent overall U.S. unemployment rate — itself the highest in 26 years.   To put that in another perspective, the number of out-of-work but job-seeking Iraq and Afghanistan veterans is at 185,000 — just 9,000 fewer than the number of troops deployed to those two combat operations, said Justin Brown of Veterans of Foreign Wars.   Brown said he is unsure why the jobless rate has jumped for recent combat veterans, but he said separating service members may find it especially difficult to get work in a job market that has few openings and a lot of competition.http://www.navytimes.com/news/2009/09/air_unemploy_092109w/

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