RI Department of Labor and Training
Press Release

Raimondo Spotlights US Department of Labor Report Showing RI’s Nation-Leading Drop in Veterans’ Unemployment Rate

There are 500 Fewer Unemployed RI Veterans Now Than a Year Ago

July 19, 2017

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 Cemetery.

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.

ABOUT DLT: The RI Department of Labor and Training offers employment services, educational services and economic opportunities to both individuals and employers. DLT protects Rhode Island’s workforce by enforcing labor laws, prevailing wage rates and workplace health and safety standards. The department also provides temporary income support to unemployed and temporarily disabled workers. For more information, please call the RI Department of Labor and Training at (401) 462-8000 or visit the website at www.dlt.ri.gov.

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