Despite a continued drop in the unemployment rate among Iraq and Afghanistan conflict veterans, a new survey reports that more than two-thirds of their post-9/11 generation believe that finding a job is the greatest challenge they face in making the transition to civilian life.
Among the most striking findings of the Veterans’ Employment Challenges study, released last week, is that 44 percent of veterans participating in the poll said they were not ready to make the transition to civilian life.
Veterans facing physical or mental-health issues were twice as likely as others to say they were not ready for the transition. In addition, close to half of those who said they were not ready said they needed more education or technical training. The poll was conducted by Prudential Financial in partnership with Iraq and Afghanistan Veterans of America.
The Bureau of Labor Statistics issued figures this month showing that the unemployment rate in July for Iraq- and Afghanistan-era veterans fell to 8.9 percent, more than a half-percentage point lower than the previous month. The rate, which was 12.4 percent in July 2011, has dropped for six consecutive months and is not much higher than the national unemployment rate, which was 8.3 percent in July.
But Tom Tarantino, chief policy officer for IAVA, cautioned against concluding that unemployment is no longer a problem for the post-9/11 generation of veterans.