Getting vets working again

National guardsman PFC. Yahya Shakur fills out a job application during a recent Veterans job fair in New York. Companies like GE and JP Morgan have made commitments to hiring vets in large numbers.

The pulse is down today on news that veterans are having an even tougher time than the rest of us finding work. Unemployment among America’s vets is hovering at a stifling 13 percent. Worse yet, nearly a third of vets under 24 find themselves without a job, according to the Indianapolis Star.

That’s led big U.S. firms to include veterans in their expansion plans. A fifth of the 17,000 employees JPMorgan hired last year were ex-military, and that wasn’t by accident. “We want to do our part to help America grow again,” JPMorgan CEO Jamie Dimon told Fox in a recent  interview.

General Electric is also making an intentional push to employ U.S. veterans. GE’s announced it plans on adding 5,000 vets to its payroll in the next five years as part of its “Hiring Our Heroes” initiative. Other companies with similar mandates include SeatonCorp, U.S. Infrastructure Corp. of Carmel, Burger King and Fifth Third Bank.

Interesting note: GE CEO Jeffrey Immelt heads up President Obama's jobs council alongside AFL-CIO president Richard Trumka, AOL co-founder Steve Case and Facebook COO Sheryl Sandberg. Let’s hope the good gesture inspires his fellow corporate leaders.

About the author

Joel Patterson is the Associate Producer of Marketplace Money.

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