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Unemployment rate high among veterans

According to a recent report from the Bureau of Labor Statistics, veterans serving in the military since September 11, 2001 have an unemployment rate of almost 11 percent. The nationwide employment rate is about eight percent. Experts say that a variety of factors are contributing to the higher unemployment rate among this generation of veterans, including a high rate of disability from the wars, and a struggle to translate military experience to civilian job opportunities.

With the unemployment rate so high, veteran's benefits available to these brave men and women have become more important than ever. Especially for those families to support, getting the most of out of available benefits can make a big difference in making ends meet while they search for a new job. The system can be difficult to navigate, and many veterans don't know exactly what is available to them in terms of benefits, job training programs, or other types of support.

Veteran's employment fairs have been springing up around Texas. State officials and veteran's specialists are helping connect employers with job seekers and aiding job seekers in translating their military skills into a civilian context.

"I do think there is a disconnect, but I think that's more about people not being able to explain why they're qualified for the job," said a specialist at the Texas Veterans Commission. Instead of listing rank and using technical acronyms to describe military experience, veterans should look at their role within the organization and list their responsibilities in terms of management and budget.

Source: Houston Chronicle, "Job search can be challenging for Texas veterans," Sept. 20, 2012.

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