Hire the Best and Brightest

New York. The Empire State.

Our motto, “Excelsior,” is proudly emblazoned on NY’s coat of arms. It is the Latin word meaning “higher,” “superior,” “lordly,” commonly translated as “Ever Upward.”

New York. Home to the greatest city in the world.

New York. One of the 10 worst states for hiring veterans.

We know. We were also dumbfounded.

Unfortunately, it’s true. The 10 BEST states for hiring veterans include: New Jersey, Alaska, Virginia, California, Massachusetts, Maryland, South Dakota, Georgia, Rhode Island, and Connecticut. The 10 WORST states for hiring veterans: Ohio, Michigan, Louisiana, Mississippi, Wyoming, West Virginia, Indiana, Wisconsin, Pennsylvania, and yes, New York; according to a study released Wednesday by InMyArea.com using the most recent data from state and federal governments, U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, U.S. Census Bureau and the Veterans Affairs Administration.

The rankings were determined by analyzing government hiring practices, unemployment rates, median income, veteran business ownership and job training investment per veteran in every state.

Some more key national findings from the analysis:

Highest average salary for vets is in Virginia ($56,140); the lowest is in Arkansas ($33,584).

Only six states saw vet unemployment increase in the last five years: North Dakota, Ohio, Idaho, Louisiana, Pennsylvania, and Vermont

Four states put vets on the front of the line for civil service jobs: New Jersey, Massachusetts, Pennsylvania, and South Dakota.

Veteran-owned businesses are most prominent in Oklahoma and South Carolina.

According to InMyArea.com, while there’s been obvious success (veterans’ unemployment fell by more than 300 percent between January 2011 and December 2019), the thread of success on the national level doesn’t necessarily weave through all the states, and certain areas of the country are better for veterans when it comes to getting a good job.

“We wanted to better understand the differences that exist on the state level in the hiring of veterans, so we compared each state across a half-dozen specific categories, including government hiring practices, unemployment rates, median income, veteran business ownership and job training investment per veteran,” researchers wrote.

Translation: More bad numbers for NY.

The Empire State finds itself, again, among the worst when it comes to average annual veteran unemployment rate: 5 percent. (To give you a better idea, Iowa is the best at 1.4 percent.)

Veterans own businesses at a rate of about 135 per 1,000 establishments, according to data published by VeteranOwnedBusiness.com, an online veteran-owned business directory. Where do you think New York ranks on the list of best and worst states for vet-owned businesses?

If you guessed “among the worst,” you get a gold star. Oklahoma’s tops at 182.9 veteran-owned businesses per 1,000 establishments; New York clocks in at 87.3.

“The picture of a returning military veteran as a disaffected individual struggling to rejoin society and find gainful employment, while perhaps a reality at some points in American history, has largely been replaced by relatively low unemployment for veterans across the country. However, with millions of Americans on active duty, a concerted effort likely will still be needed in the years to come to ensure veterans’ lives are filled with the dignity they’re due thanks to their service,” IMA researchers concluded.

That’s a goal for all of us.




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