Thursday, May 25th, 2017

Indiana claims the lowest veteran jobless rate

Posted: Thursday, April 13, 2017

According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics data, Indiana had just a 1.8 percent veteran’s unemployment rate during 2016. This is the lowest rate of all states surrounding Indiana. Other states include: Michigan, 3.2%; Kentucky, 3.9%; Ohio 4.2% and Illinois at 6.7%.

According to the report, veterans have a tremendous skill and experience that they can contribute to the workforce. Gov. Eric J. Holcomb said in a statement with the report. “That's why I’m proposing income tax exemptions for military pensions – just as many other states across the nation have already done.”

The Indiana Department of Workforce Development and its WorkOne Career Centers in communities statewide offer veteran placement services ranging from free vocational training and occupational skills assessments to direct job referrals and interview preparation. Workforce Development and WorkOne helped more than 10,000 Indiana veterans last year, the department said in a news release.

Rick Farrant was not surprised Indiana is a leader in employing veterans, but was surprised at how low the jobless rate was.

“One point eight percent is pretty darn low,” said Farrant, director of communications for WorkOne Northeast in Fort Wayne. He said the collaborative work the state and several non-profits have been doing to help veterans is paying off. Employers are also realizing how the workplace can benefit from some skills used or honed in the military. Think teamwork, punctuality, accountability, steadiness under pressure. “There are quite a few of them,” he added. Farrant went on to say, “We often hear from employers, ‘I just want somebody to show up for work or to show up on time.’ ”

For the past several years, a Veterans First Hiring Event has been in Fort Wayne to help those who have served find jobs. This year’s event is scheduled Thursday, May 4 in IPFW’s International Ballroom. It’s open to veterans, their spouses and employable dependents.

“There’s been a lot of focus on helping all veterans get self and/or family-sustaining employment, in particular in northeast Indiana,” Farrant said. “But we do know the other driver is that employers are increasingly recognizing the value of hiring veterans.”