6/16 Focusing on Veterans' Employment
The unemployment rate for veterans has fallen from 9.9 percent in January 2011 to 3.4 percent in May 2016, but as long as any single veteran is seeking meaningful civilian employment, there is still work to be done. On June 15, Assistant Secretary of Labor for Veterans’ Employment and Training Mike Michaud testified before the House Committee on Veteran’s Affairs Subcommittee on Economic Opportunity to discuss programs and strategies for veterans seeking jobs. Michaud highlighted the importance of the department’s Jobs for Veterans State Grants program, which provides funding for Disabled Veterans’ Outreach Program specialists and Local Veterans’ Employment Representative staff, and VETERANS.GOV, a new website to help veterans and the employers who want to hire them.
6/9 One Stop to Help Job-Seeking Veterans
At nearly 2,500 American Job Centers nationwide people receive help with job searches, find training, and answers to employment related questions. Last year, nearly one million veterans used this AJC network to match their skills to civilian careers, search for opportunities in their local area, and access other benefits available to them. On June 7, Assistant Secretary of Labor for Veterans’ Employment and Training Mike Michaud visited the Arlington Employment Center, an American Job Center in Arlington, Va., for a tour of the facility and roundtable discussion on veterans’ employment. Michaud joined Todd A. Weiler, assistant secretary of defense for manpower and reserve affairs, for the tour and discussion.
6/3 NVTI News Flash: VETS Monthly Employment Overview – May 2016
The Veterans' Employment & Training Service's (VETS) has released its monthly Veteran Employment Update, which is a review of data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics' monthly Economic News Release. The update includes unemployment information by veteran status, gender, and post-9/11 Era service, as well as state-by-state data and growth of industry sectors nationwide. Also included are graphs showing unemployment trends over the last 24 months.
Good News for Veterans!
In May, the veteran unemployment rate decreased from last month’s result of 3.9% to 3.4%, once again maintaining a lower level than the overall unemployment rate! This continues a 24-month trend with a single exception, when veteran unemployment was 0.1% higher than overall unemployment in December 2015.
A Cautionary Note on Sample Size
As we state in the document, some of these figures do not meet the Bureau of Labor Statistics' standards for publishing. This is due to the relatively small sample size of subpopulations of veterans, most notably female veterans and veterans ages 18-24. As a result of the small sample size, there is volatility in the monthly numbers. As opposed to generalizing monthly results to the overall population, BLS recommends reviewing employment trends over several months to gain a better understanding of the employment situation for veterans.
6/2 Lifting Burdens One Pound Cake at a Time After serving eight years in the Army in a logistics role, Steven returned home to Milwaukee in the 1980s but struggled to maintain steady employment, housing and the means to support his young family.
In the 1990s, with the support of his wife and daughter, he began “Kitchen Sweets,” a part-time business baking and selling pound cakes. “I baked as a hobby using my grandmother’s recipe and my motto is ‘When grandma hasn’t got time,’” Steven said.
6/2 Ending Veteran Homelessness: A Team Effort Partners from all over the federal government, advocacy groups and the private sector work to combat veterans’ homelessness. At this year’s opening plenary session of the National Coalition for Homeless Veterans, I had the opportunity to speak with a remarkable group of people who support our nation’s veterans and help folks like Cliff get back on the right track.
The challenges that face veterans don’t exist in a vacuum, so neither can the solutions. Health, housing, education, transportation and job opportunities are all links in the chain, and we must fortify every link by working together.
5/20 VETS May 2016 Newsletter I truly believe workers perform best when they have the training and skills needed for the work they do. In fact, I’m proof of it. I got my start as an apprentice in a paper mill in my home state, Maine. Through the program I learned valuable trade and soft skills that I’ve carried with me from the mill to The Hill. So when a Veteran — who comes to the civilian workforce already equipped with a variety of skills — seeks opportunities to grow their job skills, one of the best, most effective ways to do so is through a Registered Apprenticeship. The Labor Department’s ApprenticeshipUSA program offers workers opportunities to earn a salary while learning new skills necessary to succeed in high-demand careers. The program helps employers recruit and develop a highly skilled workforce while providing opportunities for tax credits and employee tuition benefits in some states.
5/19 Middle Class Work Deserves Middle Class Wages Today, the Department of Labor announced a significant change to the overtime rule that simply hasn’t been working for working people. In the process, we’re making it simpler for employers to identify which white-collar workers are covered and owed time-and-a-half for work beyond 40 hours in a week.
For decades, the salary threshold under which all white-collar, salaried workers qualify for overtime has failed to keep up with the rising cost of living. In 1975, 62 percent of full-time salaried workers were eligible for overtime protection based on their pay. Today, only 7 percent are eligible under the outdated salary level. The current salary level is so low that it does not effectively identify which white-collar workers are entitled to overtime protection. That is an economy out of balance.
So we’re fixing it. We have more than doubled the salary threshold—lifting it from $23,660 to $47,476 per year. That means some 35 percent of full-time salaried workers, based on their pay, will now be eligible for overtime.