Rep. Maloney: we must do more to honor service and sacrifice on Veterans Day

Nov 10, 2015
Press Release
Unemployment is falling, but many challenges remain for military families, according to Joint Economic Committee Democrat’s report

WASHINGTON – Congresswoman Carolyn B. Maloney (D-NY), the Ranking Democrat on the Congressional Joint Economic Committee, today released a new fact sheet outlining the economic challenges for veterans. The report shows that American veterans who served after September 11, 2001, experienced a 50 percent drop in their unemployment rate over the past four years, but the youngest among them still struggle with high unemployment, poverty and homelessness.

“I’m proud to represent 18,481 veterans,” said Rep. Carolyn B. Maloney, Ranking Member on the JEC. “These men and women have sacrificed their family lives, their health, and their peace of mind to defend democracy and keep the nation safe. They have experienced pain and horrors that the rest of us could never imagine. We owe it to these courageous men and women to ensure they have good jobs when they return home and to protect them from poverty and homelessness. This Veterans Day, we must honor the service and sacrifice of American heroes by committing to address the economic challenges they continue to face.”

Post-9/11 veterans were unemployed at an average rate of 6.0 percent over the past year compared with 12.1 percent in December 2011. They remain unemployed at slightly higher rates than the entire veteran population (4.7 percent), as well as nonveterans (5.3 percent).

But post-9/11 veterans between the ages of 18 and 24 experienced unemployment at an average rate of 16.2 percent in 2014 – more than twice the rate for older veterans and 3.7 percentage points higher than nonveterans their age. More than one in 10 veterans between the ages of 18 and 34 lives in poverty. And young veterans were more than twice as likely to be homeless as their nonveteran counterparts.

Post-9/11 veterans experience other challenges. Over a quarter of them live with a service-related disability. Post-9/11 female veterans have a higher average unemployment rate than their male counterparts, as well as nonveteran females. 

The paper also found that:

  • Post-9/11 veterans earned about 11 percent more than their non-veteran counterparts with similar demographic characteristics.
  • The unemployment rate for post-9/11 African American veterans was lower than the unemployment rate for nonveteran African Americans in 2014.
  • The share of female veterans who served after 9/11 was double the share of females who served before that date.
  • About 1.5 million veterans and their dependents have used GI Bill benefits to further their educations, and 30 percent have a bachelor’s degree or higher. Another 45 percent have attended some college or earned an associate’s degree.

View the fact sheet here