February 12, 2014
Va. — Military
Officers Association of America (MOAA) and the Institute for Veterans and Military Families at Syracuse University (IVMF) announce
the results of a national study focused on military spouse employment. The
presentation will be made at MOAA’s Military Spouse Symposium in San Antonio,
Feb. 12, hosted in partnership with JPMorgan Chase & Co.
finding was 90% of responding female spouses of active duty service members
report being underemployed, meaning they possess more formal
education/experience than needed at their current or most recent position.
Additionally, the 2012 American Community Survey (ACS) data show military
spouses make an average of 38% less total personal income and are 30% more
likely to be unemployed than civilian counterparts.
of the 2013 Military Spouse Employment Survey demonstrate a need for concerted
efforts to improve the employment issues currently faced by military spouses,”
MOAA President Vice Adm. Norb Ryan said.
critical research effort examined the range of economic impacts facing military
spouses as a result of Permanent Change of Station (PCS) moves, licensure
constraints, and lack of career enhancing opportunities which come as a result
of their spouse’s service,” said IVMF Director of Research, Rosalinda Maury.
“Through this project and our partnership with MOAA, we hope that this work
will inform the national discussion, helping to create new programs, policies
and initiatives that provide resources which will help this community to
overcome challenges they face in the pursuit of economic empowerment. The
results of this study demonstrate that these challenges are significant and
data consistently show noticeable gaps in income and unemployment between armed
forces spouses and their civilian counterparts, this survey discovered there is
not a lack of desire to work that is causing these gaps; over 55% of
respondents indicated they “need” to work, while 90% indicated they “want” to
work. However, active duty military spouses are more likely to have moved
within states, across states, and abroad, compared to their civilian and
veteran counterparts. The increased likelihood of moving from one
geographic location to another further compounds economic issues for these
families. According to survey results, other factors affecting their
unemployment or underemployment include relocating to geographic locations with
limited employment opportunities, employer perceptions of military spouses,
inability to match skills and education to jobs, inflexible work schedules and
high childcare costs.
2012, 18-24 year-old Armed Forces female spouses had the highest
unemployment rates at 30 percent (which is almost three times higher than
their civilian counterparts at 11 percent). 25-44 year-old Armed Forces
female spouses had the second highest unemployment rates at 15 percent
(almost three times higher than their civilian counterparts at 6 percent).
50% of respondents indicated their chosen career field requires licensing
or certification and 73% requires renewal/reissuing after a PCS move,
costing an average of $223.03.
reported being underemployed with respect to education (33%), experience
(10%), or both (47%).
significantly differs based on educational attainment and whether the
military spouse is working in their preferred career field.
other findings, including recommendations to address the issues of military
spouse employment are detailed in a summary report entitled, “The 2013 Military Spouse Employment Report”. Infographic highlights of the
report findings can be found here.
very honored to be able to present statistically reliable and informative data
about military spouse employment that will help provide the basis for future
decision and policy making regarding the well-being of military families,” MOAA
President Vice Adm. Norb Ryan said