NJ veterans get a boost, but job needs still must be addressed

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By Star-Ledger Editorial Board

Our state government did itself proud Monday, when Gov. Christie signed two smart and compassionate pieces of legislation that will provide significant support to war veterans.

But it was only hours before reality intervened, and we were reminded that for all our good intentions, we’re still failing the men and women making the transition back to the civilian workforce.

The number released by the Bureau of Labor Statistics spoke for itself: New Jersey’s veterans had an unemployment rate of 7.9 percent in 2014, which is the second worst in the country. It is a stark improvement from 2013 (10.8), but it is still far higher that the national rate for vets (5.3).

Nationally, the unemployment rate for veterans has been lower than that of the general population over the last decade. In New Jersey, the opposite is true. Some of it is a reflection of our lagging state economy, but the alarming gap – between 7.9 for vets and 6.2 overall in 2014 – still needs to be addressed.

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