Unemployment Rate for Iraq and Afghanistan-era Veterans Highest Ever ReportedCONTACT: Isabel Black (212) 982-9699 or firstname.lastname@example.org
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Friday, February 4, 2011
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Unemployment Rate for Iraq and Afghanistan-era Veterans Highest Ever Reported
Jobless Rate Jumps to 15.2% in January as National Rate Falls
New York– Today, Iraq and Afghanistan Veterans of America (IAVA), the country's first and largest nonprofit, nonpartisan organization for veterans of the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, issued the following statement in response to a Labor Department report showing unemployment amongst Iraq and Afghanistan-era veterans jumped to a record 15.2% in January, a 3.5% increase from December 2010, as the overall national unemployment rate declined:
“The unemployment numbers for Iraq and Afghanistan-era veterans are the highest they have ever been since the Labor Department started tracking. This is absolutely unacceptable. These numbers should be shocking for every single American. The nearly 300,000 Iraq and Afghanistan veterans who were unemployed in the month of January are men and women who have served and sacrificed over and over again for our country. We cannot welcome them home with an unemployment check,” said IAVA Founder and Executive Director Paul Rieckhoff. “The Administration’s announcement of a veterans’ component to the ‘Startup America’ initiative is a step in the right direction, but we need to see a more comprehensive plan from the White House, Congress, DoD and VA. Washington alone cannot halt these trends, the private sector also needs to step up to help new veterans transition from combat to career. Until we see aggressive, actionable steps to prevent new veteran unemployment, these numbers will unfortunately continue to go up.”
For a complete breakdown of the latest veteran unemployment figures, click here.
IAVA has been intensely focused on working with the public and private sector to tackle rising veteran unemployment from several fronts. Last year, IAVA joined Senator Patty Murray (D-WA) in introducing the Veterans Employment Act of 2010, legislation to expand employment, training, skills transition, education, small business assistance programs and placement services for veterans. In 2010, IAVA also joined corporate partners in launching several historic initiatives to help new veterans transition from combat to career including Microsoft’s Elevate America’s Veterans program and JCPenney and JA Apparel’s ‘Welcome Home Joe’ campaign. New veterans can also access critical employment opportunities and resources through Community of Veterans, IAVA’s online network exclusively for veterans of Iraq and Afghanistan.
To arrange an interview with IAVA Executive Director Paul Rieckhoff or Deputy Executive Director Todd Bowers or another IAVA Member Veteran, please contact Isabel Black, 212-982-9699, email@example.com.
Iraq and Afghanistan Veterans of America (www.IAVA.org) is the country's first and largest nonprofit, nonpartisan organization for veterans of the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan and has more than 200,000 Member Veterans and civilian supporters nationwide. Its mission is to improve the lives of this country's newest generation of veterans and their families.
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