President Trump’s across-the-board federal hiring freeze is particularly damaging to veterans, who rely heavily on the government for jobs once they leave military service.
Trump’s Hiring Freeze Puts Veterans Out of Work
J. David Cox Sr.
March 1, 2017
President Trump made a special point on the campaign trail of pledging his support for veterans, yet his government-wide hiring freeze delivers a double whammy to the nation’s military veterans.
Not only do veterans now face staffing shortages at VA medical facilities and benefits offices, but their main source of employment—the federal government—is drying up.
Jay Cadmus, a 30-year-old Air Force veteran, had been struggling for months to find a full-time job after completing a decade of active duty. He was ready to start work on February 5 at a defense civilian agency in Salt Lake City when the word came down that his start date had been postponed indefinitely, due to the federal government’s hiring freeze.
Robert Banks is in a similar predicament. A disabled Army veteran, Banks, 44, has worked numerous jobs in the federal government—most recently helping disabled veterans with prosthetics at the Grand Junction VA Medical Center in Colorado. Eager to move closer to his daughter, Banks accepted a position in January with the Naval Undersea Warfare Center in Newport, Rhode Island. Only after quitting his VA job and driving east did he learn that his new job was on hold due to the hiring freeze.
Cadmus and Banks are not the only veterans losing out on job opportunities under Trump. Across the country, scores of veterans who have served the nation with honor and distinction are discovering just how much harder it is to get a job thanks to the federal hiring freeze that Trump ordered January 23 as one of his first official acts.Why is the federal hiring freeze causing such hardship for our military veterans?
Simply put, the federal government is the nation’s largest single employer of veterans. Nearly one-third of all federal employees are veterans—about 623,000.
Federal agencies hired 71,000 veterans in fiscal 2015 alone, including 31,000 disabled veterans. The government increased its hiring of veterans from 31 percent to 33 percent between fiscal years 2013 and 2014. Not coincidentally, 2014 was the first year since 2009, when President Obama established a program to increase veterans’ employment, that the federal government hired more workers than it let go.
Simply put, the number one engine getting veterans back to work in the United States is the federal government. When government jobs dry up, so do veterans’ employment leading opportunities.Trump’s hiring freeze couldn’t come at a worse time for veterans.
The unemployment rate for veterans who have served since 9/11 hit 6.3 percent in January, up from 4.4 percent in September. (That’s compared with 4.8 percent unemployment in the population as a whole.) Around half a million veterans currently are unemployed, and more than a million are underemployed.Full article:http://prospect.org/article/trump%E2%80%99s-hiring-freeze-puts-veterans-out-work