WASHINGTON – Yesterday, Representative Steve Stivers (R-OH) joined Representative Annie Kuster (D-N.H.) to offer an amendment to the National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA) targeting the disproportional rate of female veteran unemployment.
This amendment would require the Secretary of the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) to conduct a study on the unemployment rate of female veterans who served on active duty in the Armed Forces after September 11, 2001.
“As a veteran myself, one of my top priorities is to help smooth the transition between service and civilian life. The fact that female veterans are disproportionately more likely to experience unemployment is unacceptable,” Stivers said. “After service, these women have valuable, sought-after skills, and yet, continue to face barriers in finding gainful employment. It’s crucial that we understand those barriers so that we can craft meaningful solutions.”
As the nation copes with the economic impact of the coronavirus pandemic, unemployment has impacted a growing number of individuals. However, the coronavirus pandemic has uniquely affected the over two million female veterans in the U.S. In April 2020, the unemployment rate for women serving after September 11, 2001 reached 20 percent. This number is 4.5 percent higher than the 15.5 percent unemployment rate for non-veteran women.
This amendment would direct the Secretary of Veterans Affairs, in consultation with the Bureau of Labor Statistics of the U.S. Department of Labor, to conduct a study on this discrepancy between female veterans and their non-veteran counterpart. No longer than 90 days after completing the study, the Secretary of Veterans Affairs must report to Congress their findings. The study will analyze, at the minimum,
· Rank, geographic location and education level at the time of separation from the Armed Forces;
· The percentage of female veterans enrolled in an education or employment training program of the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs or the U.S Department of Labor after such separation;
· Industries that employ female veterans;
· Barriers to employment of female veterans;
· Military occupational specialties available to female veterans;
· Causes to fluctuation in employment for female veterans; and
· The difference between and causes of unemployment rates of post-9/11 female and male veterans.