While unemployment continues to slowly drop, military veterans are still having a hard time getting back to work when they come back home
So what's in store for veterans in the future?
Central Coast News spoke with Frank Campo, a local veteran who works to help other servicemen and women find employment. And although he says recent legislation to help veterans find work has been effective, there's still room to improve.
"A lot of employers are skeptical about hiring a veteran because they are afraid they might have this baggage that comes along with them," says Campo.
Campo works for the state Employment Development Department as an representative for local veterans. He is also Commander at American Legion Post 56 in Santa Maria. He's seen some resistance in the past from businesses hiring veterans, but the trend right now is promising.
"I think the country, the employers as a whole are doing a good job," says Campo. "They could do a better job, especially here in Santa Maria and on the Central Coast."
The current 12-month average unemployment rate for all veterans is 7.2 percent, the lowest it's been during the Obama administration. But the unemployment rate for post-9/11 veterans is still over 10 percent. And Campo says good paying jobs are hard to find.
"Typical jobs are $8 an hour. Most veterans have a family, they have bills," says Campo. "To make it on $8 an hour, its very difficult."
Campo believes that veterans should be near the top of most hiring lists, especially because of the huge responsibilities that soldiers are given.
"You think of a fighter pilot, he might be 22 years old," says Campo. "That F-15 jet probably costs $15-$20 million. So these kids have a lot of responsibility. I'd say they have more responsibility than their contemporaries who are non-veterans."
California's unemployment rate for all veterans sits at eleven percent, which is the 5th highest in the country.
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