(Washington – April 25, 2017) — Veterans for Common Sense today authored the following letter in support of legislation to help reduce veteran unemployment. The bill is authored by Rep. Ted Poe (R-Tex.).
April 25, 2017
The Honorable Ted Poe
2132 Rayburn House Office Building
U.S. House of Representatives
Washington, DC 20515
SUBJECT: VCS Supports The Veterans Back to Work Act (H.R. 1600)
Dear Representative Poe,
Veterans for Common Sense (VCS) stands in strong support of your legislation, The Veterans Back to Work Act (H.R. 1600), which makes key changes to the Work Opportunity Tax Credit (WOTC) pilot program for businesses that hire qualified unemployed and underemployed veterans.
Not only would this legislation make permanent the WOTC incentive for hiring qualified veterans, but it would also simplify the process and improve the incentives for employers hiring qualified veterans. These changes will undoubtedly make it more likely for employers to hire qualified unemployed and underemployed veterans.
As you know, recent data on veteran employment from the Bureau of Labor Statistics show some concerning trends. In 2016, the unemployment rate for younger male recent veterans aged 25 to 34 was substantially higher than among similarly aged nonveterans: 6.6 versus 4.9 percent. And, women veterans overall (5.0 vs. 4.6%) and some older Hispanic and Latino veterans (6.6 vs. 5.6%) have higher unemployment rates than their nonveteran counterparts, among other areas of concern.
And, according to a VCS analysis of 2016 BLS data, fifteen states and the District of Columbia have veteran unemployment rates that exceed their nonveteran unemployment rates – some far exceeding, by as much as 57 percent.
We are sincerely grateful for your support for our veterans. We deeply appreciate your leadership in working to ensure the permanency and enhancement of the WOTC that is an important part of reducing veteran unemployment and underemployment. We are pleased to express our strong support for this bill and your efforts to enact it.
Veterans for Common Sense
Rep. Phil Roe, M.D., Chair, HVAC
Rep. Tim Walz, Ranking Member, HVAC