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No jobs added in August. Aren’t you glad you’re a veteran?

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So the news from the Labor Department this morning was characteristically glum: No jobs were added to the U.S. economy in August. None. The unemployment rate remained unchanged at 9.1 percent, and that’s not very festive news going into the Labor Day weekend.

Aren’t you glad you’re a military veteran?

Your service to our nation gives you a distinct advantage over your civilian peers. It’s true. Yes, the unemployment rate for Post-9/11 veterans is slightly higher than the civilian rate – 9.8 percent in August compared to 9.1 percent. But when you set aside all of the returning veterans who opt to collect unemployment compensation while they take a breather from the lively ops tempo they’ve endured, the rate is probably lower than the civilian population.

Consider this fact: The unemployment rate for ALL veterans 18 and older in August was 7.7 percent. That’s not a statistical hiccup. It’s a consistency that almost always gets overlooked by the mainstream media in its rush to point out the jobless numbers for one select group of veterans. In fact, the unemployment rate for all veterans has been lower than non-veterans every year since 2000.

That means that once veterans enter the work force – after they take a breather, after they earn a college degree, after they look unsuccessfully for a job in Hometown USA – they excel.

Why? Is it because flag-waving companies go out of their way to hire veterans in gratitude for their service? Is it because the government is doing such a good job connecting veterans to the job market?

Nope. What makes you a prime target for hiring managers at companies as varied as The Home Depot, Deloitte, BNSF Railway, GE and URS are the intangible skills that made you a good Soldier, Sailor, Marine, Airman, Coast Guardsman, National Guardsman or Reservist: leadership, teamwork, discipline, adaptability and a never-quit attitude. Regardless of the job, these qualities translate to a good Return On Investment (ROI) for companies.

So take advantage of that advantage. Get out there and find that dream job, get hired and then excel. May you enjoy many Happy Labor Days!

Posted by Dan Fazio at 09/02/2011 02:15:01 PM 


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