A new report from the Bureau of Labor Statistics shows Gulf War veteran unemployment has fallen below 10 percent. This includes anyone who served the country anytime after September 2001.
This is an especially important benchmark for the country, as unemployment of these veterans has hung above 10 percent for years. However, as more employers hired veterans to boost their warehouse staffing, and employers in related fields saw their experience was great for the distribution sector, this number started to fall.
The BLS report shows veteran unemployment dropped 2.2 percentage points in 2012 to 9.9 percent, while the jobless rate for all veterans also fell, dropping 1.3 percentage points to 7 percent. This came as 28 percent of Gulf War II-era veterans reported a service-related disability in 2012, twice the number of all other veterans.
"We all look for the opportunity to increase veteran employment," Veterans Affairs Secretary Eric Shinseki told CNN. "I think the latest employment numbers do reflect some impact."
According to DC Velocity, this pickup in veteran hiring could be attributed to many employers' decision to bring on veterans in the warehouse and distribution industries. The experience that many of these workers bring with them from their time spent in the military are applicable to several warehouse jobs.
"Overseas-deployed military veterans, for instance, have extensive experience managing the accountability of equipment and assets across several different locations and facilities while under duress in a fast-paced, dynamic work environment," wrote Jason Dozier, a veteran transition specialist with non-profit Hire Heroes USA. "Even veterans who may not have an extensive background in logistics have broad experience with freight management and distribution while overseas."
This could also help overall warehouse staffing numbers, which have been struggling to post gains in recent months.