The federal government hired 72,000 veterans in FY 2010, an increase of about 2,000 new hires compared to FY 2009. However, according to the Washington Post, representatives from the American Legion don’t think the government is doing enough for veterans.
“We’re just not satisfied with that,” said Joseph Sharpe, director of the organization’s economic division. He acknowledged work by Berry and the administration to make hiring vets a central concern, but he added: “With that effort, it should be a lot higher than 2,000 more.”
Although the percentage of veterans in executive branch agencies was up slightly, to 26.3 percent in 2010, a number of agencies fell well below that mark. The percentage of veterans in 10 of 28 agencies was 10.1 or less. At the bottom were the U.S. Agency for International Development, at 5.6 percent; the National Science Foundation, at 5.7 percent; and the Department of Health and Human Services, at 6.2 percent.
As might be expected, the Defense Department was at the top among Cabinet-level agencies, with 41.9 percent. The Department of the Air Force, with veterans making up 50.8 percent of the workforce, beat everyone.
Veterans currently receive a 5 or 10 point bump during the federal application process. OPM director John Berry praised the progress, noting that veteran hiring was up despite an overall decrease in federal jobs. While some agencies hire more veterans than others, it is not clear whether this stems from hiring practices or because some agencies or positions are more attractive to veterans. With more hiring freezes and job cuts on the table, it may not be reasonable for the American Legion to expect major hiring increases in the next few years. What do you think? Should the government be doing more to hire veterans?
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