CRANSTON, RI — Governor Gina M. Raimondo today hailed a US
Department of Labor (USDOL) report showing that the unemployment rate among
Rhode Island veterans fell by 1.7 percent over the last year, tying Rhode
Island and West Virginia as the states with the steepest drops. The veterans’
unemployment rate decreased to 3.6 percent in May 2017 from 5.3 percent in May
2016, according to USDOL. RI’s overall unemployment rate dropped 1.3 percent —
the fourth-best among states — during the same time period.
“We owe our veterans a
debt of extreme gratitude,” Raimondo said. “Many leave service with valuable
skills and proficiencies that any employer would be lucky to add to their team.
As our economy grows, it’s our job to give back to those who served us,
ensuring they have the support they need. Thanks to the dedication of our
Veterans Director Kasim Yarn and our DLT Director Scott Jensen, more veterans
have opportunity in Rhode Island.”
“My top priority is
honoring our veterans’ service by giving voice to their ideas and concerns,”
Director Yarn said. “Each veteran returning home from service faces unique
challenges. For many, an integral part of this transition is finding a
fulfilling job. These numbers show that we are making progress, and tell me
that we must continue this important work.”
May 2017’s 3.7 percent
US veterans’ unemployment rate was its lowest in 10 years. The overall US
unemployment rate in May was 4.3 percent. The Department of Labor and Training
(DLT) will release the June 2017 job and unemployment numbers on Thursday.
The RI Office of
Veterans Affairs (OVA) has become a critical lifeline for many RI veterans. Its
mission is to serve veterans and ensure they have the opportunity to thrive in
Rhode Island. OVA focuses on the transition from military service to civilian
life because finding a job can be particularly challenging during this
transition. OVA forms strong partnerships locally, regionally, and nationally
to help reduce the number of homeless veterans and veterans living in poverty,
ensure that veterans receive proper medical care, and provide timely and
sensitive customer service at the RI Veterans Home and RI Veterans Memorial
DLT offers specialized
services to veterans at each of its four netWORKri One-Stop Career Centers.
Through DLT’s disabled veterans' outreach program and local veterans'
employment representatives, veterans and eligible spouses can access an array
of employment and training services. The primary focus of these services is
meeting the needs of the veterans and eligible spouses, specifically those who
are unable to obtain employment through basic services. DLT places particular
emphasis on assisting veterans and eligible spouses with service-connected
disabilities and/or educational and economic disadvantages. DLT also works with
employers to place veterans in job openings that allow employers to take
advantage of the Work Opportunity Tax Credit and other hiring initiatives.