Poll: Veterans Struggling to Find Jobs in NJ [AUDIO]
"Most New Jerseyans say that military service provides a range of skills that can be applied in work settings, but most believe that Iraq and Afghanistan veterans have problems in trying to get jobs when they come home," said Patrick Murray, director of the Monmouth University Polling Institute.
In fact, 81 percent of New Jerseyans think veterans have difficulty finding a job when they return home. Only 6 percent think vets have an easy time finding employment.
Why are veterans having so much trouble? According to those polled, many feel that post-traumatic stress disorder plays a role in private sector hiring.
"Forty-two percent say they believe that concerns about PTSD are a major factor when employers consider whether to hire recent veterans, and 38 percent say those concerns are at least a minor factor," Murray said.
About seven in 10 residents think that at least 25 percent of those who served in Iraq and Afghanistan probably suffer from PTSD. Forty-seven percent say at least half of returning vets are affected, and 22 percent say between a quarter and a half are impacted.
Just over half of those polled said that employers should be allowed to consider the fact that a returning vet has PTSD when deciding whether to hire. Another 36 percent said that employers shouldn't be able to consider this. Fifty-one percent said employers shouldn't be permitted to use the possibility of developing PTSD symptoms in the future when considering whether to hire a recent combat veteran.
"Seventy-seven percent of New Jersey residents say that the country is not doing enough to help these recent veterans return to the workforce," Murray said. "Just 33 percent of New Jerseyans say that private employers are eager to hire those veterans who are coming back from those combat zones. Forty-seven percent say that they think employers are actually reluctant to hire those vets," Murray said.