News Releases

(Washington, D.C.) – Today, U.S. Senator Patty Murray (D-WA), released the following statement after the Department of Labor reported that the unemployment rate for veterans rose to 9.9% overall, and 15.2% for veterans of the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan.

“This is a very disappointing report that demonstrates clearly the need for us to move quickly to help our nation’s veterans find jobs.

“We all know that veterans going from the battlefield to the working world face a unique set of challenges. And as we see with today’s numbers, far too many of our veterans coming home from overseas are having trouble finding work in this tough economic climate.

“Our veterans have the skills, determination, discipline and talent to succeed in the workplace, but despite learning a wide range of technical and leadership skills through their service, they often find it difficult to transfer these skills to civilian professions. And all too often, they fall through the cracks of existing employment assistance programs or do not qualify for their services.

“So I am going to keep working to pass legislation to help our veterans find jobs.  Because no veteran should come home from serving their country and not be able find work that would allow them to support themselves and their families.”

Last Congress, Senator Murray introduced the Veterans’ Employment Act of 2010, which was the first comprehensive approach to address skyrocketing unemployment rates among veterans, especially those returning home from Iraq and Afghanistan. The bill included a number of proposals that improve training, skills translation, education, and small business assistance. Murray plans to introduce similar legislation in the near future.