Veterans unemployment at lowest rate in years

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COLUMBIA - A recent report from the Bureau of Labor Statistics, or BLS, states the overall veteran unemployment rate is the lowest it has been in recent years.

The veteran unemployment rate decreased from 5.3 percent to 4.9 percent during the first quarter of 2015. 

Maggie Giliberto is a social worker at the Welcome Home Center in Columbia. She said she is happy to see the unemployment rate be so low for vets. 

"It's great to see the community play in this role and say hey we like to hire veterans for our business," Giliberto said. "It is such a great thing that veterans are becoming more employed." 

Although the unemployment rate is at a low during 2015 for veterans, vets in the younger generations are still experiencing high unemployment. 

For 18-24-year-old veterans, unemployment has increased since the beginning of the year from 18 percent to 19 percent. 

Post 9/11 vet unemployment is at 7 percent and young veteran Will Paulus said he doesn't understand why. 

"There seems to be some sort of stigma to hire 9/11 veterans," Paulus said. "It doesn't really make sense to me. You have young, able-bodied people willing to do just about anything."

Paulus is now at MU's Nursing School. He said education is important for veterans to land these jobs.

"The education thing really works out if you choose to pursue it. That's the whole reason I am getting back in school," said Paulus. "The nursing school is really the only way for a post 9/11 veteran to make money. Period. "

V.F.W. Post 280 in Columbia offers job fairs for veterans. The VA and the Columbia Career Center also have programs to help vets get connections for jobs. 

Commander of the V.F.W. Post 280 Don Briggs said things seem to be getting better for veterans when it comes to employment. 

"Not everybody is going to get the job because there's only so many jobs to go around," Briggs said. "But I think with the programs that are put in place today that it treats better for the veterans."

To look at the statistics for the unemployment rate for veterans as of March 2015 visit the BLS webpage