According to the Department of Labor, the number of Americans applying for unemployment benefits plummeted in November 2021 to the lowest level in more than half a century. Jobless claims dropped by 71,000 to 199,000, the lowest since mid-November 1969, marking one of the most worker-friendly climates in generations (Bureau of Labor Statistics, 2021). Along with this drop in unemployment rates has come an increase in job postings, putting workers in a strong bargaining position because job supply and employer demands are both high.
This unusual labor market presents increased opportunities for Disabled Veteran’s Outreach Program (DVOP) Specialists and Local Veterans’ Employment Representatives (LVER). DVOP Specialists provide individualized employment career services to veterans and eligible spouses, while LVERS provide outreach to local businesses and employers to advocate for the hiring of veterans. This current labor market will provide DVOP Specialists and LVERS with more opportunities for the veterans and families that they serve.
Veterans have a rich skillset but can be overlooked by recruiters and hiring managers as they may be unaware of their extensive experience and education. The DVOP can help to bridge this gap by helping the veteran understand how their military expertise carries over to the workplace and how to best convey this expertise to potential employers. In fact, according to a recent Society for Human Resource Management Study:
- 68 percent of employers report that veterans perform “much better than” or “much better than” their civilian peers.
- 57 percent of veterans stay at their jobs much longer than the median tenure of 2.5 years (for subsequent roles after their first job following active duty).
These statistics are compelling proof points as to why recruiters should look to veterans as excellent candidates for open job opportunities – especially at a time when employers are dealing with an epidemic of employee burnout and turnover.
LVERs help employers analyze how they can better appeal to the veteran demographic with benefits tailored to veterans. Now is a time when employers may be more receptive than ever to offer these kinds of veteran-tailored benefits—like having an inclusive employee resource group that allows veterans to collaborate as well as act as a recruiting and retention tool – to appeal to veterans.
Finding the right career for veterans as they transition into civilian life after service is a two-way street, and DVOP Specialists and LVERs are helping to ease the American labor shortage by matching veterans into jobs. While the historically low jobless claims of late 2021 may not last forever, the demographic trends in the U.S. are edging toward a future with more jobs than the working-age population will be able to fill in the next decade. Employers who can build a robust practice of recruiting veterans now will be in a far better position in the years ahead, no matter what the future holds for the labor market.