Troops Returning From Iraq Face Dismal Employment Outlook

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LOS ANGELES (CBS) — The war in Iraq is over, but American soldiers are returning home to face a new battle — unemployment.

The Bureau of Labor and Statistics says unemployment rates for veterans ages 20 to 24 are close to 30 percent — nearly double that of their young civilian counterparts.

One issue is that many soldiers begin their service right out of high school.

Groups such as Volunteers of America, an organization based near Skid Row, are helping vets who lack the education needed to be competitive in the current workforce.

Last month California’s overall unemployment rate dropped to 11.3 percent. Still, many troops returning from Iraq plan to reenlist simply because there are too few jobs to come home to.

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