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AUSN Blogs

08

Below is VetJobs President Ted Daywalt's letter to General Martin Dempsey, Chairman, JCS, after their discussion at the US Chamber’s Veteran program.

Dear General Dempsey,

It was a pleasure to meet you at the US Chamber’s Veteran program. At the end I spoke with you about the real veteran unemployment problem, which is in the National Guard and Reserve (NG&R). You asked for me to send you some information on the issue. That information is contained below.

SUMMARY

1. Veteran unemployment has always been lower than nonveteran or the national unemployment rate.

2. Young veteran unemployment is high as most unemployed 18 to 24 year old veterans are in the National Guard and to some extent, the Reserves.

3. With the current call up policy put into place on January 11, 2007, companies are reluctant to hire people who will be taken away for a year or more. Companies cannot operate efficiently with their most critical capital, their human capital, taken away for long periods of time.

4. Major surveys have found that 65% plus of companies will not now hire as a new employee an active member of the NG&R, especially the NG.

5. Companies want to support the military and veterans, but they cannot go broke doing so!

6. The current call up policy is driving the veteran unemployment rate.

7. The unemployment rate in the NG&R will increase in 2012 as DOD downsizes as an employer would rather hire a veteran who is not subject to being called away for 12 or more months.

DISCUSSION

The following chart compares total veteran annual unemployment (center column) with national unemployment rates (left column) and nonveteran unemployment rates (right column). You will not that in every year the unemployment rate for all veterans is lower than the others. This chart could have gone back to 1950 with the same results. Employers want to hire veterans due to the leadership and skills that veterans bring to the job.

Unemployment rates of persons 20 years and over by veteran status, annual averages 1986-2009.

 

 

 

 

Total, both sexes (percent)

 

 

 

 

 

Year

Total, 20 years and over

Veterans

Nonveterans

 

 

 

 

1986

6.2

5.1

6.4

1987

5.4

4.8

5.6

1988

4.8

4.1

5.0

1989

4.6

3.7

4.8

1990

4.9

4.2

5.0

1991

6.1

5.4

6.1

1992

6.8

6.0

6.8

1993

6.2

5.8

6.2

1994

5.4

5.0

5.5

1995

4.9

4.1

5.0

1996

4.7

3.9

4.8

1997

4.3

3.4

4.4

1998

3.9

3.2

4.0

1999

3.6

3.2

3.7

2000

3.4

2.9

3.5

2001

4.2

3.6

4.2

2002

5.2

4.7

5.2

2003

5.4

5.0

5.4

2004

4.9

4.6

5.0

2005

4.5

4.0

4.6

2006

4.1

3.8

4.1

2007

4.1

3.8

4.1

2008

5.2

4.6

5.2

2009

8.6

8.1

8.6

Chart #1:  Unemployment rates of persons 20 years and over by veteran status, annual averages 1986-2009.

Source: BLS CPS veteran report

* * * * * * * * * * * * * * * *

The next chart compares the 20 to 24 year old and 25 to 29 year old veterans to their civilian counter parts. Note there is no statistical deviation until 2007

Year

Nonveteran

Veteran

Nonveteran

Veteran

 

20-24

20 - 24

25 - 29

25 -29

2000

7.2%

8.0%

4.2%

3.0%

2001

8.3%

9.6%

5.0%

4.2%

2002

9.6%

11.2%

6.5%

5.8%

2003

10.0%

11.0%

6.6%

6.8%

2004

9.4%

13.6%

6.1%

7.2%

2005

8.7%

15.6%

5.8%

6.5%

2006

8.1%

10.4%

5.1%

6.5%

2007

14.5%

22.3%

5.1%

6.4%

2008

11.6%

14.1%

6.5%

6.1%

2009

14.6%

21.2%

10.6%

12.1%

2010

15.4%

20.6%

10.7%

14.9%

Chart #2: 20 to 24 and 25 to 29 year olds - nonveterans and veterans

Source: BLS CPS veteran report

On January 11, 2007, DOD changed the call up policy for NG&R. The result was the more than doubling of young veteran unemployment from 10.4% to 22.3%. This is a reflection of employers saying they will not support one year and longer call ups as they cannot afford to have employees gone that long.

* * * * * * * * * * * * * * * *

Graph #3 show how the trend continued into 2011.

Month

Nonveteran

Veteran

# Veterans

January

18.10%

31.90%

67,000

February

17.20%

28.60%

59,000

March

16.10%

28.80%

57,000

April

15.30%

26.80%

50,000

May

16.30%

31.90%

60,000

June

17.10%

26.20%

53,000

July

16.50%

19.80%

39,000

August

16.30%

30.40%

66,000

September

16.30%

35.60%

83,000

October

15.40%

30.45%

71,000

November

15.30%

37.90%

95,000

Chart #3:  18 to 24 year olds - Nonveteran vs. Veteran for 2011

Source: BLS CPS veteran report

Included in this chart is the total number of unemployed veterans by month. Note that in November the total of 18 to 24 year old unemployed veterans is 95,000. DOD did not release 95,000 veterans aged 18 to 24 in November or in any month. Considering that DOD released only about 190,000 total personnel for 2009, it quickly becomes evident that the unemployed veterans are not those coming off active duty, but rather, the large number of youth primarily in the NG, and to some extent, the Reserves.

* * * * * * * * * * * * * * * *

Here are some sample unemployment rates in National Guard units. Keep in mind that these units had these unemployment rates when they deployed as employers have figured out ways to get around USERRA by laying off members of the NG&R before they have orders in hand.

Nashville, TN NG Brigade – 320 of 700 unemployed – 45.71%

Jacksonville, FL NG Brigade – 750 of 2,500 – 30%

Rochester, NY NG Brigade – 12% unemployment

Oregon NG – 50% unemployment

Minnesota NG – 15% unemployment

Minnesota NG currently deployed – 28% unemployment

* * * * * * * * * * * * * * * *

There have been many press reports about how veterans are using unemployment insurance more than ever in the past. The explosion of using UI by veterans started in 2008, another direct result and unintended consequence of the current call up policy. Per DOL, upwards of 45% of the increase by veterans using UI comes from the National Guard.

* * * * * * * * * * * * * * * *

This chart compares veteran unemployment to nonveteran unemployment for 2011.

 

Vet

NV

Vet

NV

Vet

NV

Vet

NV

Vet

NV

 

18-24

18-24

25-34

25-34

35-44

35-44

45-54

45-54

55-64

55-64

Jan

31.90%

18.10%

15.60%

9.90%

7.50%

8.20%

8.90%

7.80%

9.50%

7.10%

Feb

28.60%

17.20%

14.40%

9.90%

6.30%

8.10%

9.50%

7.60%

8.70%

6.80%

Mar

28.80%

16.10%

12.80%

9.60%

7.40%

7.70%

9.10%

7.50%

7.50%

6.70%

Apr

26.80%

15.30%

11.10%

9.40%

7.50%

7.10%

7.80%

6.90%

6.40%

6.20%

May

31.90%

16.30%

11.90%

9.10%

8.20%

7.00%

7.20%

6.70%

7.00%

6.20%

Jun

26.20%

17.10%

14.80%

9.30%

9.40%

7.20%

6.40%

7.10%

8.00%

6.70%

July

19.80%

16.50%

14.30%

9.50%

8.10%

7.00%

6.70%

7.30%

9.00%

7.20%

Aug

30.40%

16.30%

8.70%

9.20%

7.40%

7.00%

6.30%

7.10%

7.60%

6.70%

Sep

35.60%

16.30%

10.00%

9.30%

7.00%

7.30%

8.00%

6.80%

6.60%

6.30%

Oct

30.40%

15.40%

11.70%

9.30%

5.50%

6.80%

6.70%

6.50%

7.90%

6.60%

Nov

37.90%

15.30%

7.40%

8.70%

5.40%

6.70%

7.40%

6.40%

6.90%

6.00%

Chart #4:  Veteran versus nonveteran unemployment rates monthly for 2011

Source: BLS CPS veteran report

Note that except for the 18 to 24 year olds, and to a lesser extent the 25 to 34 year olds, there is not a statistically significant difference between the veteran and nonveteran. The difference is high in the younger veterans due to the high participation rate in the NG.

* * * * * * * * * * * * * * * *

You expressed concern about how the reported numbers in the press and from federal agencies seem to conflict. This is because there are two unemployment reports generated by the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) and many reports do not specify which rate they are using.

One is the Current Employer Survey (CES), which is a survey of mostly large companies and government agencies reports on hires and layoffs to determine how many jobs were added or lost each month. The CES does not have a good representation of small businesses, where most new jobs are created. And the CES has been influenced by political interests.

The second report is the Current Population Survey (CPS), frequently called the household survey, which picks up hiring by companies of all sizes, new companies, farm workers and the self-employed who are not included in the CES. The CPS has been shown to be more reliable and does a better job of picking up the shift in hiring because it includes small business hiring. The above charts use CPS data.

* * * * * * * * * * * * * * * *

Another way of looking at the NG&R unemployment issue is the exponential increase in the number of USERRA inquiries and complaints.

As reported by ESGR, from 2004 to 2006, there were 16,000 informal and formal USERRA complaints or inquiries, or roughly 5,333 a year

January 2007 saw implementation of the 12 plus month call up policy.

In 2008 there were 13,090 USERRA inquiries or complaints. In 2010 there were 34,612 inquiries or complaints, of which 3,202 resulted in actual USERRA cases for mediation purposes, an increase of over 300%!

The exponential increase in USERRA inquiries and complaints is a message from corporate America. The message is they want to hire veterans, but they cannot go broke supporting their National Guard and Reserve employees with constant call ups and all the financial and legal obligations fostered onto the employers by USERRA.

* * * * * * * * * * * * * * * *

VetJobs is the Veterans of Foreign Wars sponsored internet employment site. VetJobs is recognized as the leading military job board on the Internet. VetJobs receives over 160,000 visitors a month and has been averaging 39,000 to 40,000 jobs a day for the past month. VetJobs is now in its 13th year of service assisting veterans and their family members find employment.

For the most part, we see those military personnel transitioning off active duty are finding employment. Naturally there are exceptions which can be expected during the continuing poor economy, but they are finding work. Our biggest challenge is helping members of the NG&R find employment.

I have testified to Congress about these issues several times and would be glad to provide with the testimonies. There is much more data related to this problem. I would be glad to discuss it with you and your staff.

Please give me a call if you have any questions.

With best regards,

Ted Daywalt
President
VetJobs
P. O. Box 71445
Marietta, GA 30007-1445
o 877.838.5627 (877-Vet-Jobs)
o 770-993-5117 X222
c 678-777-8262

f 770-993-2875

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Posted in: Capitol Hill Blog

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