The Call of Duty Endowment partnered with ZipRecruiter, the fastest-growing online employment marketplace, to create a national report examining the current state of U.S. veteran employment activity.
The report, co-authored by Cathy Barrera, ZipRecruiter chief economist, and Phillip Carter, Endowment adviser and veterans policy expert, leveraged the resume data of more than six million job seekers on the ZipRecruiter platform, more than 500,000 of whom were veterans. It identified areas where veteran job seekers were significantly different from non-veteran job seekers with respect to their education, employment, geography and job search activity.
Strikingly, the report found that veteran job seekers are struggling to find meaningful employment after service. Nearly one-third of veteran job-seekers experienced “underemployment,” or employment below their objective experience and/or skill level - a number 15.6% greater than non-veterans. In contrast, the most commonly referenced economic indicator for veteran employment, published by the U.S. Labor Bureau of Labor Statistics, suggests that veterans are doing better than non-veterans in the job market.
Additionally, the report surveyed 54,000 job seekers within the ZipRecruiter platform (5,410 of whom were veterans) regarding their sentiments towards employment and their job search, as well as 2,225 employers (247 of whom were veterans) regarding their perceptions of veteran employees.
Key findings from the report are below, and the report itself can be found here:
- Underemployment affects more veteran job seekers than non-veteran job seekers. Nearly one-third of veteran job seekers are underemployed -- a rate 15.6 percent higher than non-veteran job seekers.
- A majority of employers report that veterans perform “better than” or “much better than” non-veterans. Employers are more likely to view veterans as a positive asset to their companies compared to their non-veteran peers. 59.1 percent of employers reported that veterans perform “better than” or “much better than” their non-veteran peers, with 37.5 percent saying they performed “about the same” as their non-veteran peers.
- Veterans tend to leave their first jobs after military service faster than non-veterans, but veteran turnover is lower throughout the arc of a veteran’s career. This may indicate that immediately following military service, veterans take the first jobs available, rather than finding a "best fit" role. However, across their entire careers, veterans stay longer at their jobs - with 57 percent of veteran job seekers staying longer than 2.5 years, compared to 42.5 percent of non-veterans.
- Compared to non-veterans, veterans are more likely to be in executive, management and other leadership roles in business functions such as sales or operations. The largest category of veteran employees (33 percent) played a role in executive management, compared to 24 percent of non-veteran respondents.That said, many veterans also enter the workforce with just a high school diploma.
- Experience, perseverance, leadership and directly-relevant skills top the list of desirable qualities that employers find attractive in veterans. Roughly one-fifth of employers ranked “experience” as one of their top factors for the attractiveness of veteran hires, followed closely by “perseverance and/or work ethic.” Approximately one-sixth of employers ranked leadership or relevant skills as one of their top 3 factors for new hires.
- Among respondents surveyed in the employer category, those who were veterans were significantly more likely to report the presence of a “vets program” at their firm than non-veterans. 46 percent of veterans surveyed under the employer survey said their firms had a veteran hiring program, compared to just 17 percent of non-veterans. Additionally, a slightly higher rate of satisfaction with veteran job performance was reported by employers with a veteran hiring program: 66.9 percent of employers with a vets program said their vets performed “better than” or “much better than” non-vets, compared to 55.9 percent of employers without a veteran hiring program.
Read the Endowment’s groundbreaking research with ZipRecruiter here.