Some occupations are unique to the military and therefore members who serve in these occupations could have poor post-military employment and earnings outcomes. This study found that while serving in a unique occupation influenced employment and income outcomes, rank was also important in determining employment and income outcomes post release.
Some occupations are unique to the military and therefore members who serve in these occupations could have poor post-military employment and earnings outcomes. Magnum and Ball (1987 and 1989) found that roughly half of Veterans in the United States were able to transfer their military training into civilian work. Military members are assigned to an occupational specialty. Some of these occupations such as infantry and artillery which are part of the combat arms do not have a civilian equivalent and some such as nurse and cook are highly transferable. Combat exposure can also have long-lasting effects on health and as a result labour market outcomes (Maclean and Elder, 2007). In Canada, the Survey on Transition to Civilian Life (STCL) (2010) found many overall positive findings in employment and income. Most Veterans worked after release1 and were satisfied with their civilian employment and their financial situation. As well, rates of low income among Veteran households were half that of the general population. However, sub-groups of the population have been found to be at risk of poor employment and income outcomes after release. Rates of unemployment and/or low income have been found to be higher among Veterans released involuntarily, at lower ranks and those with fewer years of service (MacLean, Sweet and Poirier, 2011). In addition, the prevalence of disability among Veterans was twice that of the general population and impacted heavily on labour force participation. Half of Veterans in the labour market and three-quarters of those not in the labour force had participation and activity limitations (Thompson et al, 2013). To date, however, no studies have examined how serving in occupations unique to the military impacts post-service employment and income.
MacLean, M. B., Campbell, L., Poirier, A., and Sweet, J., 2016. Military Occupation and Post-Military Employment and Income Outcomes. Research Directorate, Veterans Affairs Canada, Charlottetown.