Veterans make up a valuable demographic in the national labor market, but returning to the civilian workforce isn’t easy.
One of the great challenges faced by veterans and ex-military personnel is the need to communicate how military skills transfer to the civilian workforce. This is why EMSI is very excited to introduce a new Career Coach feature, available upon request, that maps military occupation codes to standard occupation codes to identify which civilian careers are similar to specific jobs held in the military.
As a nation, we’ve become much better at embracing the skills that veterans and ex-military personnel offer the civilian workforce. In fact, the Department of Veterans Affairs reports that veterans on average earn more money than non-veterans and that overall unemployment rates for veterans (5.7%) and non-veterans (4.9%) were very similar in 2014. Even the unemployment rate for post-9/11 vets, which is typically much higher than the overall veteran demographic, has improved drastically (the monthly average was 7.2% in 2014, down from 9% in 2013). This group is also doing better than their non-veteran peers in earnings.
Still, 53% of separating post-9/11 vets will face a period of unemployment. In addition, veteran employment sees huge regional variations. In 2013, when the national average for unemployment among vets was 7.5%, it was 10.8% in New Jersey and 10.6% in Michigan. These regional differences are concerning, and they are why EMSI data, which provides an intimate level of labor market detail for a particular region, is especially suited to help.
Our new Career Coach feature has several uses. Veterans and ex-military personnel who enjoyed their previous occupations can type in their military occupation code (MOC), and Career Coach will link them to a similar civilian career path. Then, by providing key information like salary, local job outlook data, and real-time job postings, Career Coach helps veterans visualize that career in just a few minutes. Lastly, Career Coach links to local degree or certificate programs that can help.
Similarly, for those vets and ex-military personnel who either did not enjoy their military occupations or just want to explore more options, Career Coach facilitates conversations with advisors about likes and dislikes of previous positions, skills that might transfer to a new career path, and the education that will be needed to move on.
If you have questions about this update, want it added to your Career Coach site, or would like to learn more about Career Coach, please email Char Scheibe. Follow EMSI on Twitter (@DesktopEcon) or check us out on LinkedIn and Facebook.