CHICAGO (CBS) — The White House announced Thursday the unemployment rate will stay above 9 percent through next year. As Derrick Blakley reports, that’s especially sober news for military veterans.
Germaine Tyler served a year in Iraq as an Army Reserve sergeant. But since he got back in January, a paycheck has been hard to find.
Before he shipped out, Tyler got laid off as a computer operator. His wife, Satrya, lost her job in the mortgage industry.
“You don’t have any money coming in, things just pile up, pile up, pile up, pile up,” he says of their plight.
Plenty of veterans face the same situation.
While the overall employment rate hovers around 9 percent, for post-Sept. 11 veterans, it’s higher, dramatically higher: 12.4 per cent.
Those kinds of numbers drew scores of vets to a jobs fair Thursday at the Lovell Federal Health Care Center. Some attribute higher joblessness for vets to the effects of war, such as disabilities.
Others say civilian employers just don’t understand their military skills.
“They sort of understand we have discipline, but I don’t think they understand the diversity of training we acquired through our service,” Navy veteran Lamar Alexander said.
Alexander maintained aviation electronics in the navy. Now, he can’t find a full-time job.
“Sometimes, I think why did I serve because I’m not able to find a job. It’s depressing, but what else can we do?” he said.
Veterans are hoping President Obama’s plan to give tax breaks to employers that hire them will make a difference in their job prospects.