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Brighter Job Outlook For Military Veterans Gathered At MCRD San Diego

Evening Edition

The job outlook for Iraq and Afghanistan veterans continues to improve. Many of them are settling down in San Diego and Southern California. But the unemployment numbers remain volatile as the country digs out from the recession.

Cpl. Christian Herrera spent nearly eight years in the Marine Corps with two tours in Iraq. He's making the rounds at a Marine Corp Recruiting Depot job fair.

Aired 9/20/12 on KPBS News.

The job outlook for Iraq and Afghanistan veterans continues to improve. Many of them are settling down in San Diego and Southern California.

He's got confidence, a resume and a wife and son depending on him. And one more childhood goal to accomplish when he leaves the service in January.

"Since I was a small little boy, I wanted to be either law enforcement or military, so it's falling into play," Herrera said.

The job prospects for Iraq and Afghanistan Veterans are also looking up.

While the overall economy produced few jobs and left the national average unchanged in August, statistics from the Labor Department show the military jobless rate for recent vets was nearly 11 percent last month, compared to more than 13 percent a year ago. And the rate for all veterans still looking for work is now 6.6 percent, the lowest in three years and well below the national average of 8.1 percent.

Mina Threat is the transition manager at MCRD San Diego, and as a Marine spouse she knows all about the challenges of life after the military.

With 60 employers and 40 colleges and university representatives at the job fair, many of these Marines could soon be hired.

"The last event we had in February, we had over 300 job offers and we have also over 100 applications submitted to colleges to continue education," she said.

Those jobs are sorely needed because San Diego is home to the largest population in the country of Iraq and Afghanistan veterans.

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