veteran unemployment: causes, consequences and remedies 2018-09-05آ  veteran unemployment: causes,...

Download VETERAN UNEMPLOYMENT: CAUSES, CONSEQUENCES AND REMEDIES 2018-09-05آ  VETERAN UNEMPLOYMENT: CAUSES, CONSEQUENCES

If you can't read please download the document

Post on 11-May-2020

0 views

Category:

Documents

0 download

Embed Size (px)

TRANSCRIPT

  • VETERAN UNEMPLOYMENT: CAUSES, CONSEQUENCES AND REMEDIES

    by

    Shannon O’Reilly

    A thesis submitted to Johns Hopkins University in conformity with the requirements for the

    degree of Master of Arts in Government

    Baltimore, Maryland

    May 2014

    © 2014 Shannon O’Reilly

    All Rights Reserved

  • ii

    Abstract

    U.S. military veterans who served in the military after September 11, 2011 have seen

    consistently higher unemployment rates than the national average since 2006. Understanding the

    causes, consequences and remedies for this trend are important public policy and national security

    imperatives. Each segment of American society from the federal government, the private sector

    and the military to veterans themselves has a role to play in improving the employment picture.

    Much progress has been made in helping veterans but much work remains. Failure to take the

    necessary steps to remedy the unemployment trend will have long-term consequences including

    an erosion of the American public’s relationship with its military, long-term recruitment issues

    that may threaten the health of the all-volunteer force and massive economic challenges. To

    understand the unemployment challenge for post-9/11 veterans and ultimately overcome it

    requires a holistic look at the role of each key stakeholder: employers, veterans and the federal

    government.

    The aim of this thesis is to evaluate the unemployment situation of veterans, understand

    the challenges the private sector faces, evaluate the growing civilian-military divide, assess the

    federal government’s role in veteran employment and finally to offer policy recommendations to

    help solve this challenge. Each chapter uses the latest social, economic and military literature as

    well as various surveys to reflect the views of each audience. To reflect the views of the private

    sector, I use two recent surveys including the Center for a New American Security’s “Employing

    America’s Veterans: Perspectives from Businesses.” The second survey conducted by the

    Society for Human Resource Management (SHRM) polled 359 private sector human resources

    professionals on the challenges faced when hiring veterans. To reflect the views of veterans, I

    use a survey conducted by the Pew Research Center, a Washington Post-Kaiser Family

    Foundation poll and a poll conducted by the Iraq and Afghanistan Veterans of America. To

    reflect the views of government, I use Congressional testimony, Congressional Research Service

    reports as well as statements in the news media.

  • iii

    Ultimately what I found was that over the two-year time frame in which I wrote this

    thesis, the private and public sectors have made significant progress increasing veteran

    employment across the country. With large private sector firms and the Obama Administration

    forging the way forward, the military and individual veterans will have to play a larger role in the

    employment equation.

    Thesis Advisor: Dr. Dorothea Wolfson

    Thesis Readers: Dr. Dorothea Wolfson and Professor Thomas H. Stanton

  • iv

    Preface

    I have spent two years struggling to understand why the unemployment rate for post-9/11

    veterans has been consistently higher than the national average. Despite working in this space, I

    find this question to be one of the most daunting questions to answer – and one without an

    extraordinary amount of research.

    I have strived to answer the question knowing that the United Sates military is about to

    reduce its end strength to the lowest levels since before World War II and recognizing that many

    of our nation’s military members who have sacrificed so much will be forced to transition out of

    the military without the appropriate level of support from each service branch and the federal

    government. As someone who did not serve, I feel the heavy burden of keeping our social

    contract with our all-volunteer force and ensuring veterans have employment opportunities when

    they transition back to civilian life.

    As the wife of a post-9/11 Army veteran with two combat tours, I have witnessed

    firsthand how difficult this transition can be. I also have had the privilege to watch the very real

    progress made by the private sector in meeting the challenge head on. Apart from the academic

    literature and improvements in the data, there was a noticeable difference between my husband’s

    job search in 2009 compared to the one in 2012. This is largely a byproduct of the significant

    progress made in the private sector. It has been my honor to play a role in this progress as a

    senior executive at one of the leading companies hiring veterans. Through my research at Johns

    Hopkins, I have been able to help advance private sector policies as well as influence the broader

    public debate about veteran employment.

    Lastly, I am indebted to my husband who has been a driving force for me in doing this

    research. He has been my sounding board, my sanity and my support throughout this process. I

    admire his drive, courage and dedication in everything that he does.

    Thank you,

    Shannon O’Reilly

  • v

    Table of Contents

    Thesis Introduction .......................................................................................................................... 1

    Chapter One: Veteran Employment: The Road to Reintegration and Wellness .............................. 8

    Introduction ...................................................................................................................................... 8

    Research Focus and Question .......................................................................................................... 9

    Employment Situation of Veterans ................................................................................................ 10

    Figure 1: Annual Unemployment Rates 2007-2012 ...................................................................... 11

    Veteran Unemployment as a Public Policy and National Security Concern ................................. 11

    Five Barriers to Employment from the Private Sector Perspective ............................................... 13

    Barrier One: Knowledge Gap ........................................................................................................ 14

    Barrier Two: Negative Stigmas ..................................................................................................... 17

    Barrier Three: Employers' Fears of Service Member Deployments .............................................. 20

    Barrier Four: Finding Military Talent ............................................................................................ 22

    Barrier Five: Veterans Are Not Ready to Rejoin the Workforce ................................................... 22

    Examples ........................................................................................................................................ 23

    Humana .......................................................................................................................................... 25

    JPMorgan Chase ............................................................................................................................ 28

    General Electric ............................................................................................................................. 29

    Conclusion ..................................................................................................................................... 31

    Chapter Two: Bridging the Civilian-Military Divide in the Post-9/11 Era ................................... 33

    Introduction .................................................................................................................................... 33

    Research Focus and Question ........................................................................................................ 34

    Explaining the Civilian-Military Gap ............................................................................................ 35

    Has the Civilian-Military Divide Widened in the Post-9/11 Era? ................................................. 36

    The Knowledge Gap ...................................................................................................................... 38

    The Cultural Gap ........................................................................................................................... 43

    Why is the Divide Important? ........................................................................................................ 44

    Recommendations: How the U.S. Can Reconcile the Civilian-Military Divide ............................ 45

    Conclusion ..................................................................................................................................... 49

    Chapter Three: Veteran Employment: Progress and Remaining Challenges ................................ 51

    Introduction .............................

Recommended

View more >