New Unemployment Data Underscores Financial Strain For New VeteransCONTACT: Zack Baddorf (212) 982-9699 or firstname.lastname@example.org
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New Unemployment Data Underscores Financial Strain For New Veterans
Tepid March Jobs Numbers Released on Heels of Shocking Report Detailing Widespread and Extensive Delays in VA Disability Benefits
NEW YORK (April 5, 2013) – The Bureau of Labor Statistics today reported the unemployment rate for Post-9/11 veterans was 9.2 percent in March, 1.6 percentage points higher than the rest of the country. Nationally, the report showed lower job growth from previous months, a trend that would have a greater impact on Post-9/11 veterans who, statistically, face a higher rate of unemployment. The BLS report comes just weeks after the Center for Investigative Reporting released a shocking new report showing widespread and lengthy delays for veterans who cannot work because of service-connected injuries to receive disability benefits from the Department of Veterans Affairs. Almost 900,000 veterans are waiting for a disability benefits claims decision, with veterans waiting an average of 273 days.
“Today’s unemployment numbers - coupled with what we now know about the VA disability benefits backlog - starkly illustrate the deep financial strain veterans face,” said Paul Rieckhoff, CEO and Founder of Iraq and Afghanistan Veterans of America. “Our nation’s veterans deserve better, whether they are struggling to secure a job despite being highly trained and highly skilled or whether they are waiting 500 days to receive the disability compensation they’ve earned. Alarmingly, too many of our young veterans are facing challenges and disappointments on both fronts.”
To help unemployed veterans of Iraq and Afghanistan, IAVA recently launched “Career Pathfinder,” an innovative online employment tool funded by Cisco and Futures Inc. The Career Pathfinder website includes thousands of job listings from employers looking to hire veterans, a cutting-edge resume builder, an innovative career mapping tool, a one-of-a-kind military-to-civilian skills translator, and access to IAVA’s best-in-class education and employment programs. Additionally, as part of IAVA’s Rapid Response Referral Program funded by the Robin Hood Foundation, case managers work directly with veterans to connect them with resources and programs to help them transition from combat to career. IAVA programs have helped hundreds of veterans get back to work and find unemployment support after their service.
IAVA is leading a national effort – with IAVA’s members working on the ground in Washington, D.C. and in their local communities – to pressure the Obama Administration to end the VA backlog. Last month, IAVA met with senior White House officials and presented a petition, signed by over 34,000 Americans, demanding that President Obama create a Presidential Commission to end the VA backlog. IAVA presented the petition during “Storm the Hill,” IAVA’s annual leadership development program, which brings the stories of more than 2.5 million veterans of Iraq and Afghanistan to Washington. As of today, more than 44,700 Americans have signed the petition.
Iraq and Afghanistan Veterans of America, the nation's first and largest nonpartisan, nonprofit organization representing veterans of Iraq and Afghanistan, has more than 200,000 Member Veterans and civilian supporters nationwide. IAVA recently received the highest rating - four-stars - from Charity Navigator, America's largest charity evaluator.
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