Associates in Action—
The War on Unemployment: Increased Hiring of Veterans

By Whitney A. Crowe, CSG Development Coordinator
Wal-Mart, a CSG Senior Associate member, committed in 2013 to hiring 100,000 veterans over a five–year period. At that time, nearly 1 million veterans were unemployed and male veterans age 18-24 had an overall unemployment rate of almost 30 percent.
“Wal-Mart is hiring veterans because it is just the right thing to do,” Joe Quinn, Wal-Mart’s senior director of issue management and strategic outreach, said at the time of the announcement. “Men and women who fight for our country should never have to fight for a job.”
Less than halfway through the five-year hiring timeline, Wal-Mart already has hired more than 77,000 veterans—or 75 percent of its target—including approximately 10,000 employees in Texas alone. The jobs could not arrive soon enough for the Lone Star state.
There were 19,000 unemployed post-9/11 veterans in Texas in 2013, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics. That amounted to an 8.7 percent unemployment rate, well above the average unemployment rate of 6.3 percent for all Texans and also higher than the national unemployment rate of 6.7 percent that same year.
National unemployment rates among veterans decreased last year. The 2014 annual unemployment rate for post-9/11 veterans was 7.2 percent, a nearly 2 percent drop from 2013 and a nearly 5 percent decrease from 2011. It was the lowest annual unemployment rate recorded for post-9/11 veterans.
U.S. Labor Secretary Thomas Perez said veterans are attractive employees for business owners.
"Veterans have the skills that employers are looking for,” Perez said in a March 2014 news release. “They make our nation's workforce more productive, our companies more profitable and our economy more competitive. Smart businesses recruit veterans because it's in their self-interest, because they know it's a sound investment in their bottom line."
CSG’s private sector members also are seeing the value in training and hiring veterans. Twenty CSG Associates, including Wal-Mart, have been recognized by Victory Media as Military Friendly Employers.
CSG’s State Pathways to Prosperity initiative aims to assist states in growing their economies and increasing their workforces, particularly with regard to veterans and other target populations. The initiative began in 2014 under the leadership of West Virginia Gov. Earl Ray Tomblin, who was serving as CSG president, and Senate Majority Leader Mark Norris of Tennessee, who was serving as CSG chair. The initiative is being continued by 2015 CSG Chair New York Sen. Carl Marcellino.
To learn more about CSG’s State Pathways to Prosperity, please visit To learn more about Wal-Mart’s efforts, please visit



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