Survey suggests these individuals are eager for work and have education, skills.
With four times higher unemployment than the general population, military spouses may be an untapped source of workers, and a new survey suggests that they are hungry for employment opportunities. According to data from FlexJobs and Blue Star Families, nearly half (46%) of military spouses have felt discriminated against in their job searches; and 91% say that being a military spouse has had a negative impact on their career. Over half (56%) say that they have stopped job hunting because of the difficulties they’ve experienced finding work; and 50% say they’ve tried to hide their status as a military spouse to avoid hiring discrimination.
Over three-quarters (81%) of military spouses cite personal fulfillment, over financial necessity and the need to save for retirement, as their main reason for seeking employment. As for qualifications, 71% of survey respondents have a bachelor’s degree or higher.
Of course, the downside of hiring military spouses (and likely the main reason they experience discrimination) is that they often have to move when their significant others are transferred. In fact, a third (32%) of military spouses report that they’ve had to leave a job at least three times because of a military-related move. While healthcare is an industry where turnover can be an issue, these qualified candidates can still be an asset, especially for national organizations with facilities across the country where transfers are an option.
Earlier this year, the U.S. Chamber of Commerce Foundation, in collaboration with Starbucks, launched “Hiring 100,000 Military Spouses,” a three-year national call-to-action campaign for organizations of all sizes and in all sectors. The initiative’s goal is to address military spouse unemployment and underemployment by offering real solutions and opportunities. You can participate in this effort by committing to hire a certain number of military spouses and/or agreeing to track military spouse hires. Once you make your commitment, you will receive a draft template press release, a social media toolkit, and other materials.