According to the U.S. Department of Labor’s Bureau of Labor Statistics, the unemployment rate among veterans of Iraq and Afghanistan is 11.2 percent.

During the same time period, the jobless rate for non-veterans of the same age group was 8.8 percent.

In all fairness, there is a margin of error for the veteran demographic that could put these veterans on par with non-veterans. However, we believe there might be something else going on.

Historically, the Department of Defense, called up these members of the military for active-duty service only once every six years. A few years ago, the DoD changed the rules.

Although its “policy” is still to call members once every six years, the reality is quite different. During recent years, the Guard and Reserve have not been used as “strategic reserves,” but rather as supplements to the active duty forces.

In fact, many members of these service branches are on their third and fourth activation since 2001.

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We believe that the recent up-tick in unemployment among these veterans is reflected in the various survey findings of the Society of Human Resource Management, Business Law Review and Workforce Management Magazine.

They found that nearly 70 percent of companies will not hire active Guard and Reserve members. Armed with this knowledge, many might choose not to enlist.

The lesson for governments everywhere is: “Consider the effects on business and industry, when you make decisions.” The lesson for service members is: “Make sure you have a marketable skill.”

From The Herman Trend Alert, by Joyce Gioia-Herman, strategic business futurist.


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