According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, the unemployment rate for Texas veterans is on the rise. In 2012 the unemployment rate for Texas vets was 8.3 percent, but that number has risen in 2013 to 8.7 percent, the national average is at 9 percent.
The Senate Committee on Veteran Affairs and Military Installations is focusing on what state agencies can do to improve these rates.
“We know either from continued sequester or just the downsizing that’s going to come that Texas is going to be effected," said state Sen. Leticia Van De Putte, D-San Antonio, who chairs the committee. "What can we do to be proactive? They’re coming. It’s going to happen. We’re going to have more veterans returning here unemployed.”
Larry Temple, executive director for the Texas Workforce Commission, said they are requesting more grant money from the federal government to assist with the influx of unemployed vets, but even that relief is limited.
“The good news is Texas has a great economy, the bad news is our grants are all formula driven based so much on the economy,” Temple said.
The committee also focused on mental health issues, how depression among veterans is worsened when they are turned down for a job. They also explored what type of legislation would need to get state agencies to increase the number of vets they are hiring.