WASHINGTON — The ambitious jobs plan outlined by the president Thursday night may be a tough sell in Congress, but lawmakers appear on the verge of advancing at least one piece of unemployment legislation in the near future: A new veterans jobs bill.
Just hours before the speech, members of the House Veterans Affairs committee approved a measure offering new training programs to veterans looking for jobs and tax incentives to companies that hire them.
Senate leaders have a similar measure under consideration, and members of both parties say they expect to find compromise on the issue in coming weeks, possibly before Veterans Day in November.
Many of the provisions are geared toward younger veterans and those just leaving the service, because of the spike in joblessness in that group.
Labor officials announced last week that the unemployment rate among “Gulf War II era” veterans – those who have served during the Iraq and Afghanistan wars — fell to 9.8 percent in August, the first time this year that figure has been below 10 percent. But that’s still nearly 200,000 young veterans looking for work.
Overall, veterans have fared better in the job market than most civilians. The unemployment rate among all former military personnel fell to 7.7 percent last month, well below the 9.1 national rate. But veterans groups note that even at that level, the figures translate into almost 900,000 unemployed veterans, frustrated that their public service isn’t helping them in the private sector.
Bill sponsor Rep. Jeff Miller, R-Fla., chairman of the House Veterans Affairs committee, said before Thursday’s vote that push for action now is obvious: “A million veterans out of work is not acceptable.”
Read full article here: Stripes.com
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