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NJ Veterans Post Highest Jobless Rate [AUDIO]

The unemployment rate among veterans was higher last year in New Jersey than any other state.

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Job Fair Held For Veterans At New York's Lexington Avenue Armory
Andrew Burton, Getty Images

Former members of the military experienced a 10.8 percent jobless rate in New Jersey, an uptick from 2012, according to new data released by the U.S. Department of Labor. The rate edged downward nationally to 6.6 percent.

Brigadier General Michael Cunniff, the Adjutant General of New Jersey, noted some vets have a hard time converting their military experience into civilian service once they’re back home.

“Sometimes it’s difficult for someone who’s been a squad leader — led 13 or 14 people through combat — but that’s not anything you translate directly into civilian life,” Cunniff said.

General Cunniff’s comments were echoed by service members at a recent job fair for veterans on the Rider University campus.

“I need to learn the language, from military lingo to civilian terminology,” said Jon Murray, a Browns Mills resident who will finish his duty with the Marines next month.

General Cunniff insisted that in most cases, it’s not the technical and hands-on skills vets need to learn to transfer; their strength comes in the form of leadership, organization and management.

New Jersey has a few mechanisms in place to help its veterans, including preferential treatment for civil service positions and a pilot program to train vets for positions as school security guards.

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