At the onset of the pandemic in March, when businesses across the nation abruptly closed their doors and laid off countless workers, unemployment among Veterans surged. By April, the jobless rate for all Veterans jumped to 11.7%, up from 4.1% the previous month, according to the Institute for Veterans and Military Families at Syracuse University. For the oldest Veterans from the World War II, Korean War and Vietnam War eras, the rate shot up to a staggering 17%, up from 4.1%.
The coronavirus has been equally hard on the nation’s 21.2 million Veteran-owned small businesses, which continue to struggle with the sharp economic downturn. But the Veteran owners we spoke with said the skills they developed during their service have taught them how to handle the unexpected – even a pandemic.
“When you’re in combat or deployed, you’re constantly fighting to turn assumptions into facts. That has been a real advantage, to know how to do that,” said retired Army Maj. Gen. Allen Batschelet, principal and cofounder of Horizon Strategies, located in Omaha, Nebraska. “We don’t want to make emotional decisions based on things we don’t know.”
Whether you are a Veteran looking for a job or a business owner looking to hire Veterans, the place to start is the AARP Job Board. Check the filter for “Veterans Wanted Jobs” to find employers seeking applicants with military experience. The AARP Job Board and other employment resources listed here are free to all Veterans, military personnel and their families regardless if they are AARP members.
AARP Resume Advisor: Get a free expert résumé review of how well your skills are communicated and obtain personalized recommendations on how to make your résumé stand out. Discounted writing packages are also available to rewrite your résumé, cover letter or LinkedIn profile.
AARP Work Reimagined Guide for Veterans & Military Families: Download this guide to help you navigate the many free resources AARP offers to aid in your job search.
“Rethinking Work for Veterans, Military and Their Families” Webinar: Join us on Nov. 13 at 7 p.m. ET or 7 p.m. PT for an online discussion about military job search tips, as well as starting and growing your own business. There will be speakers from companies like Amazon and ManTech who are looking to hire Veterans, plus special guests including Susan Weinstock, AARP’s vice president of financial resilience programming, and Larry Stubblefield, associate administrator for the Office of Veterans Business Development at the U.S. Small Business Administration. It will be moderated by John Caine, AARP south regional vice president and Army Veteran.
Veteran Caregiving Event Reminder
Join the AARP Family Caregivers discussion group on Nov. 19 for a Facebook Live event: “Support for Military and Veteran Caregivers.” This discussion will focus on VA benefits, services and support for military caregivers. It will be moderated by AARP family and caregiving expert Amy Goyer and include special guest Dr. Lynda Davis, chief Veterans Experience officer for VA. Go to facebook.com/groups/aarpfamilycaregivers to join the group.
Aaron Kassraie is an associate writer and editor for AARP.
The sharing of any non-VA information does not constitute an endorsement of products and services on part of the VA.