California is home to approximately 1.9 million veterans — the highest veteran population of any state in the nation. Military veterans may face many challenges making the transition back into civilian life, including challenges in the job market.
The California Employment Development Department (EDD) helps veterans and eligible spouses maximize employment and training opportunities. The EDD also offers assistance and tools to employers to help hire qualified veterans. Information on EDD’s employment services for veterans, including employer resources, can be found on their website.
As a result of California’s growing economy, the unemployment rate for veterans has been decreasing over the past couple of years — from 7.1 percent in August 2015 to 5.8 percent in August 2017. The number one type of job that veterans hold in California is management. According to the EDD, veterans are also well prepared for analytical jobs such as: computer programmer, architect or engineer. You can find these statistics and more in EDD’s 2017 Veterans Day Workforce Report.
Veterans are protected under federal law, including the Uniformed Services Employment and Reemployment Rights Act (USERRA). 38 percent of complaints received under the USERRA contain allegations of discrimination on the basis of past, present or future military service or status; 25 percent of the complaints allege improper reinstatement into civilian jobs after military service. Information on USERRA’s protections and employer resources can be found on the Department of Labor’s USERRA website.
California law protects individuals from discrimination based on military and veteran status and also provides certain job protections and return rights after periods of military service.