Study finds military spouses struggle to find jobs

JACKSONVILLE, N.C. (WNCT) — Finding a job for military spouses is harder than ever.

Between frequent moves, deployments and raising families without your spouse, the day in, day out lifestyle of holding a steady job for military spouses is almost impossible.

Blue Star Families released a report saying the unemployment rate for military spouses is 42 percent compared to the national civilian spouse unemployment rate of 25 percent.

“It’s hard moving all the time and finding work,” said Shelly Kieweg, military spouse and director of community impact at United Way. “We’ve lived at Cherry Point, here at New River, Meridian, Wisconsin, Okinawa and then back. I’ve had jobs everywhere. But the hardest thing is your application or your resume.”

To help lower this statistic, military bases have programs to help spouses looking to start a new job.

“Military spouses may have gaps in their employment, and we can tweak those resumes to not hide those gaps but to emphasize what they’ve done during those stay at home periods,” said Sheila Covington, Family Member Employment Assistance Program adviser at MCCS Lejeune-New River.

FMEAP helps spouses with cover letters, resumes, applications, and interviewing skills.

The Small Business Center at Coastal Carolina Community College also offers free seminars to spouses. One popular option is called “Boots to Business” and is a two-day seminar aimed at entrepreneurs.

“We have another one that’s really popular called ’50 Home-based Businesses’,” said April Priester, assistant to the Small Business director.

Kieweg’s advice to military spouses looking to find employment is this: “One of the most important things is to put yourself out there. You have to let them know you’re available. You don’t just put an application in and wait for someone to call you.”

You can find out more information on FMEAP’s services here. More information on free seminars through the Small Business Centers can be found here.


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