Veteran Unemployment Essay

2242 words - 9 pages

This year, the United States is set to end over a decade of continuous combat operations in Afghanistan as well as reduce the size of the military in an effort to restrain the growing deficit of the federal government. While some welcome these actions, they will have a significant effect on the men and women of the armed forces. Since the military is now focused on returning to a peacetime posture and cutting personnel, more veterans will be entering the civilian market. These men and women, who come from all walks of American life, will have had vastly different experiences than their civilian counterparts. These veterans will have spent their formative years in a wartime military and while ...view middle of the document...

The government offers veterans numerous education and business opportunities while also hiring veterans directly. By being able to accurately predict veteran unemployment, these officials would be able to keep programs funded and prevent veterans from being turned away due to a lack of funds. Also these officials would know during which times it would be most beneficial for them to recruit veterans. For both of these organizations, an accurate forecast would allow them to more effectively address the problem of veteran unemployment.
There are four variables that can help explain the monthly variation in the veteran unemployment rate. The first variable is the U.S Government hiring rate. Veterans are giving preferential treatment when applying for government jobs. For example, cities hire firefighters and police officers by ranking candidates based on a point system and U.S military veterans are awarded bonus points for their service. Similar processes exist across all occupations in both the federal, state government, and local governments. Another reason the government hiring rate is indicative of veteran unemployment is that, according to economic research on the topic, “Veterans were far more likely to be employed in the public sector-particularly at the federal level-than were nonveterans. This was especially true of disabled veterans” (Cohany 6). Whether it is because of preferential hiring or the call to serve their country again, veterans are more likely to be employed by the government than non-veterans. For these reasons, the expectation would be for a negative relationship between the government hiring rate and veteran unemployment. As government hiring rate increases, it should follow that the veteran unemployment rate decreases.
Another variable that can explain variation in the veteran unemployment rate is the monthly number of Social Security Disability awards. In order to understand the variables effect on veteran unemployment, an understanding of the veteran disability system is in order. A veteran’s disability is determined by the Veterans Administration (V.A) based on a rating scale from 0% to 100%. The veteran is then compensated on a monthly basis by the V.A. based his or her disability rating. The effect of a veteran’s disability rating is closely tied to labor force participation, “the effect of a disability on an individual’s labor force status was closely related to the severity of the disability…and among those most severely disabled (ratings of 60% or higher), only one third were in the labor force” (Cohany 3). Disability is a hindrance to finding long-term employment for many veterans. Disabled veterans are at a high risk for unemployment as their wounds can prevent them from employment in many industries. The reason Social Security disability awards matter is that, according to veteran disability attorney Joel Ban, “If you are the recipient of a very high VA rating (70% or higher) than your chances for success on...

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