Jobs Outlook Improves For All But Youngest Vets

As Memorial Day 2013 approaches, the job market for post-9/11 veterans is showing unusual strength. But unemployment remains stubbornly high for the youngest veterans.

The unemployment rate for veterans who have served since September 11, 2001 fell to 7.5% in April. That’s the lowest level in more than four years.

Houston is home to one of the fastest-growing communities of post-9/11 vets. It’s also host to two of the employers recently ranked among the most veteran friendly by the Military Times: Waste Management and the MD Anderson Cancer Center. Wes Reel is a staffing manager for Waste Management and a former Naval aviator.

“On the tangible side, we try to find veterans that come from vocations that translate well to our jobs, such as transportation managers, construction managers, truck drivers, diesel mechanics, and so on. And we also like the intangible qualities that veterans bring — their leadership, their work ethic.”

But for the youngest veterans, the outlook is still grim. The unemployment rate for vets aged 18-24 is nearly 18% — more than double the national average.


Andrew Schneider

Andrew Schneider

Politics and Government Reporter

Andrew heads Houston Public Media’s coverage of national, state, and local elections. He also reports on major policy issues before the Texas delegations in the U.S. House and Senate, as well as the Texas governorship, the state legislature, and county and city governments. Before taking up his current post, Andrew...

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