Military veterans are faring better in the workplace than their non-veteran counterparts. In fact, between 2005 and 2015, veterans’ average hourly wages were nearly $5 higher—at almost $26 an hour—compared to $21 an hour for non-veterans. Those findings, and more, by faculty economists Dr. Francesco Renna and Dr. Amanda Weinstein, at The University of Akron are discussed in their paper, “The veteran wage differential.” They explains that the wage differential is driven by observable factors such as education, occupation and industry, but also by location choice—a factor that has been previously overlooked in the literature.
Though the transition from military service to the private sector can be difficult for many veterans, when veterans do find employment, they tend to be quite successful in the workplace. Nearly 90 percent of the wage gap between veterans and non-veterans can be explained by veterans earning higher wages for exhibiting higher levels of observable characteristics that are typically rewarded in the labor force. For example, veterans tend to have higher educational attainment (thanks to policies like the G.I. Bill) and higher overall skill levels, from cognitive skills to people skills. Military background is especially beneficial among veterans with lower socioeconomic status (including lower incomes, black veterans, and women veterans) as military service may act as a bridge to greater economic opportunities.
(Phys.org News, 25th July 2019)